The richest countries in the Caribbean can be extrapolated by estimating the GDP of each of the Caribbean countries. The richest Caribbean countries attract most of the wealthiest people to reside in their cities and provinces. The top richest islands in the Caribbean include high-profile nations like The US Virgin Islands, The British Virgin Islands, and Cayman.
The wealthiest Caribbean countries in this article have been rated based on their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per Capita. This measure estimates the standard of living of the citizens and residents of a country. It also gives a hint on the average wealth of each of the country’s residents; how rich or poor the country maybe.
Top 10 Richest Countries In The Caribbean
GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 85,748
Bermuda is the most populous country among the richest Caribbean countries. It has 181 Islands; the largest is the main island sometimes referred to as Bermuda. Out of the 181 Islands in Bermuda, 8 of the largest islands are connected by bridges and have the largest residents in the country.
Bermuda is the richest British overseas territory and the largest offshore financial zoar for wealthy people and international businesses. The largest sectors in the economy of Bermuda are tourism and offshore insurance.
Because of the numerous tourist attractions including Bermuda, the country continues to attract international businessmen, foreign investors, and Canadian, British, and American tourists. 80% of the Caribbean visitors in Bermuda are US tourists which nearly a million visitors each year.
Though Bermuda is not entirely one of the Caribbean countries, it is rated among the richest British overseas territory. In July 2003, Bermuda became an associate of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Bermuda is rated among the top wealthiest islands in the Caribbean because of its high GDP per capita which is one of the highest GDP per capita in the world, and a population count of 71,000 persons. The economy of this country is very successful to such an extent that there are no corporate taxes on the citizens.
2.The Cayman Islands
GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 64,103
The Cayman Islands happen to be the solace of most international tourists, investors, and entrepreneurs, as most of the country’s population is rated to be among the richest persons in the world. This is the largest and richest British territory after Bermuda with a population estimated to be about 64,000 persons.
The most populous cities in the Cayman Islands are Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, and Little Cayman. They boost the rating of the Cayman Islands as one of the richest countries in the Caribbean. There are over 100 cultures and nationalities currently resident in the Cayman islands yet the country continues to be successful and explorative as one of the wealthiest islands in the Caribbean despite its mix.
The beach resorts are the major attractions for snorkeling trips scuba divers. The Cayman Islands also house most of the offshore companies in the Caribbean. Just like in Bermuda, there are no corporate taxes, income taxes, or capital gains taxes on the citizens.
The Cayman Islands is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom. The economy of Cayman is largely flamboyant and deserving of the richest countries in the Caribbean. The Cayman currency – the Cayman Islands Dollar (KYD) is rated against the US Dollar at $1.227 for 1 KYD.
3. US Virgin Islands (USVI)
GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 34,899
The Virgin Islands of the United States US Virgin Islands is one of the richest territories of the United States located at about 40 miles distance from Puerto Rico. The US Virgin Islands is a conglomeration of other main islands like Saint John, Saint Croix, and Saint Thomas; among other minor islands bordering them.
The US Virgin Islands is estimated to have a population count of 104,000 persons and over 2.5 million tourists annually reaching the country mainly by ship. 60% of the flourishing economy of the US Virgin Islands can be accounted for by the trade, tourism, and service sectors of the country.
The only issue with the USVI being one of the richest countries in the Caribbean is that the US citizens resident in the USVI cannot vote in the US presidential elections, though they can be involved in the nomination process that is the caucus.
4. British Virgin Islands (BVI)
GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 34,200
The Virgin Islands or the British Virgin Islands is one of the richest Caribbean countries and a member country of the Caribbean British Overseas Territory. The major part of this country is made up of the largest islands including Virgin Gorda, Tortola, Anegada, and Host Van Dyke; plus 32 minor islands.
The population count of the Virgin Islands is 30,000 persons. The primary economic sector of the country is Tourism which makes up 45% of the Island’s GDP and Financial services sectors account for 50% of the national income; while other Industries are minor contributors.
The British Virgin Islands is an associate member of the CARICOM and they became part of the British Overseas Territories in 2002; same time they started ranking among the richest countries in the Caribbean. Even with the damages caused by Hurricane Irma in 2017, the British Virgin Islands are still key players in the offshore financial services sector.
5. The Bahamas
GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 33,394
The Bahamas is not just one of the richest countries in the Caribbean but also one of the richest American states. Due to the zero income tax on the residents of the Bahamas, the islands have attracted numerous tourists and offshore companies to participate in agglomerating the nation’s economy. There are 700 Islands, islets, and cays in the Atlantic ocean of the Bahamas.
With the population of the Bahamas which is estimated to be 400,000, the country is one of the most populous nations in America, yet, they maintain a position as one of the richest countries in the Caribbean. The total GDP of this country is $12 billion with the offshore International services and banking sector accounting for 15% of the national income.
GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 29,493
Anguilla is a Caribbean British Overseas Territory (BOT) and a United Kingdom Overseas territory with a population of 15,000 persons. The primary economic sectors of Anguilla’s economy include Offshore Companies Incorporated, Tourism, Insurance, Offshore Banking and Management, and Fishing.
There are no taxes on profits, capital gains, sales, corporate, or estate; however, there are property taxes of 0.75%. The currency of Anguilla is the East Caribbean Dollar which is still widely accepted in the United States.
Of the richest countries in the Caribbean, the banking sector of Anguilla has 7 investment banks, over 40 company managers, 2 financial services businesses, 50 insurers, 12 brokers, 250 captive intermediaries, 8 trust companies, and 50 mutual funds.
7. The Turks and Caicos Islands
GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 23,614
The Turks and Caicos Islands is one of the richest Caribbean islands in the world and a British Overseas Territory with a population of 23,000 persons. The major economic sectors of this nation’s economy are tourism and offshore financial services.
Turks and Caicos Islands are member countries in the CARICOM and are major financiers of the Caribbean Development Bank. As one of the richest countries in the Caribbean, they are also members of the Universal Postal Union with a sub-bureau in Interpol.
Turks and Caicos Islanders gained full British citizenship as member countries of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) through the British Overseas Territory Act in 2002.
8. St Martin
GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 25,000
St Martin is made up of two Territories; the Dutch side which is known as Sint Maarten and the French side known as Saint-Martin. Sint Maarten makes use of the Antillean guilder of the Netherlands as their currency unit while the Saint-Martin uses Euro. This country is separated from the British Territories on its Southside by the Anguilla channels.
The country is estimated to have over a million visitors as tourists each year. The main economic sector of St Martin is Tourism with 85% of its workforce engaging in the sector. The main airport of the Caribbean islands of St. Martin is the Princess Juliana International Airport.
The Dutch Side of St Martin or Sint Maarten as it is well known is more densely populated than the French side. This region is more populous because of its beaches, festivities, drinks, and casinos.
The French side is also explorative in its outdoor markets, clothes, Indian and French cuisine; which are very expensive restaurants. Sint Maarten offers an investor permit scheme (RBI Scheme) where foreigners can invest at least 500,000 in real estate or any other business investments on the islands to gain full Dutch citizenship and permanent residency in the islands.
9. St Kitts and Nevis
GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 17,924
The first British and French Colonies in the Caribbean used to be housed in St Kitts and Nevis and as such, the island has been dubbed the Mother Colony of the West Indies. St Kitts and Nevis were the first Caribbean islands to gain settlement by the Europeans.
St Kitts and Nevis is the smallest country in the Western Hemisphere with a landmass of 261 Km² and a population size of 55,000 persons. St Kitts and Nevis is an associate member of the CARICOM, Organization of American States (OAS), and OECS.
The major financiers of St Kitts and Nevis economy are the agriculture and light production sectors. You can gain full citizenship in St Kitts and Nevis by investment as stipulated by the nation’s 1984 Citizenship Act.
GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 16,357
Barbados is a Caribbean island in North America, located in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies and has a population of 300,000 people. It is an Atlantic Island but yet a region in the Caribbean. The GDP of Barbados is estimated at 5.3 billion USD.
The Stock exchange market of Barbados is rated as the third-largest stock exchange in the Caribbean even with a mixed economy. The net group of visitors and tourists of these islands are majorly from the UK, US, a Canada.
Barbados has full membership associating with the CARICOM, Association of Caribbean States (ACS), Commonwealth of Nations, Organization of American States (OAS), CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), and the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
GDP Per Capita (PPP) Of Other Caribbean Countries
- Trinidad and Tobago; GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 16,126
- Panama; GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 15,196
- Antigua and Barbuda; GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 14,803
- Costa Rica; GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 11,644
- Grenada; GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 10,451
- Saint Lucia; GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 9,715
- Saint Vincent; GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 7,145
- Dominican Republic; GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 7,052
- Dominica; GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 6,719
- Jamaica; GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 5,114
- Belize; GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 4,971
- Guyana; GDP Per Capita (PPP): USD 4,655
A concise look at the details above will ascertain that the richest country in the Caribbean is Bermuda with a GDP Per Capita of $85,748; while the poorest country in the Caribbean is Guyana with a GDP Per Capita of $4,655.