Settling a question like ‘Which are the richest socialist countries in the world’ isn’t easy. According to Forbes, 46 percent of Americans consider China to be socialist. Considering its politics are a blend of communism and Marxism-Leninism, that’s understandable enough. 44 percent also consider Venezuela to be socialist. As its party system is dominated by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, it’s another fair assumption. But then things start to get complicated. 31 percent believe that France is a socialist country. 26 percent believe Germany is. Denmark, Norway, Sweden… all socialist, as far as most people are concerned. Clearly, defining a socialist country isn’t just a matter of deciding whether it follows the Marxist-Leninist socialist tradition or not. So, if we factor in democratic socialist countries that operate a mixed economy with both socialist and capitalist characteristics (thereby including the likes of France, the UK, and Germany in the mix), which ones rank as the richest? And are any of them quite so rich as China? Find out as we reveal the 10 richest socialist countries in the world.
10. Denmark – GDP: $364.55 Billion
With a GDP of $364.55 billion, Denmark ranks as the second richest democratic socialist country in Scandinavia after Norway. Its modern, mixed economy relies heavily on foreign trade. 80 percent of all jobs in the country are in the service sector, with another 11 percent in manufacturing and 2 percent in agriculture. In terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), its economy is the 51st largest in the world. Thanks to its social and economic policies, it has one of the lowest measures of economic inequality in Europe.
9. Ireland – GDP: $405.19 Billion
Contrary to legend, Ireland doesn’t have an army of leprechauns sitting under rainbows with pots of gold. Even so, it’s still got a very respectable share of the world’s riches. Despite being a tiny country of just under 5 million people, the Republic of Ireland is one of the wealthiest nations in Europe. After suffering a major setback following the 2008 financial crisis, its highly developed economy has grown to a GDP of $405.19 billion. Financial services, agribusiness, high tech, and life sciences all contribute heavily to the country’s wealth.
8. Norway – GDP: $438.62 Billion
Norway’s highly developed mixed economy has shown strong, steady growth for decades, resulting in one of the most stable economies in Europe. Along with Luxembourg and Switzerland, it’s one of the very few non-island nations or microstates in the world with a GDP per capita above $70,000. Its economy relies heavily on natural resources, with a strong emphasis on North Sea Oil.
7. The Netherlands – GDP: $954.93 Billion
The Netherlands has a prosperous, mixed market economy that ranks as the 5th largest in Europe and the 4th biggest in the EU. It also has the eleventh highest per capita income in the world. Foreign trade contributes heavily to its GDP, as does its status as a European transportation hub. Although it was hit heavily during the financial crisis of 2008, it recovered quickly and now has one of the biggest current account surpluses in Europe.
6. Brazil – GDP: $2.06 Trillion
With a GDP of $2.06 trillion, Brazil has the ninth-largest economy in the world. Much of its wealth comes from natural resources such as timber, uranium, gold, and iron, which are believed to be worth around $21.8 trillion in total. Between 2000 and 2012, Brazil’s economy was the fastest growing in the world: despite the rate of growth tailing off in subsequent years, it still has one of the largest free-market economies in Latin America.
5. Italy – GDP: $2.09 Trillion
Following the UK’s departure from the European Union after Brexit, Italy now has the third-largest economy in the EU, trailing just behind Germany and France with a GDP of $2.09 trillion. Much of its GDP is reliant on exports: in 2019, it exported $632 million, with around 58 percent of that coming from the EU.
4. France – GDP: $2.78 Trillion
Trailing just behind Germany and the UK in the European wealth stakes is France, a country whose GDP of $2.78 trillion makes it the seventh-largest economy in the world and the third-largest in Europe. The country’s economy is heavily dominated by the service sector, which accounts for around 78.8 percent of its GDP. The industrial sector accounts for around 19.5 percent of GDP, with the primary sector trailing at 1.7 percent. Paris, as you’d expect, is the beating heart of the French economy: not only does it has one of the largest city GDP in the world, but it also has the highest number of Fortune 500 companies in Europe.
3. United Kingdom – GDP: $2.83 Trillion
With a GDP of $2.83 trillion, the UK ranks as the sixth-largest economy in the world. The economy is dominated by the service sector, which accounts for 80 percent of the GDP. The financial services industry is particularly strong (which, considering London is the second-largest financial center in the world, is hardly surprising). The aerospace industry, which ranks as the second-largest in the world, also contributes heavily to the economy, as do the manufacturing, agricultural, and pharmaceuticals industries.
2. Germany – GDP: $4.00 Trillion
Up next is Germany, the fourth-largest economy in the world thanks to a GDP of $4.0 trillion. Its social market economy is the biggest in Europe. Machinery, household equipment, and car manufacture account for its biggest industries, although in recent years, its economic focus has changed to embrace the digital age. According to Wikipedia, Germany is one of the largest exporters in the world, exporting $1810.93 billion worth of goods and services in 2019 alone.
1. China – GDP: $13.4 Trillion
When it comes to the richest socialist country in the world, there’s no real competition. With a GDP of $134.4 trillion, China has the second-largest economy in the world… and it’s growing all the time. According to worldpopulationreview.com, China’s economy saw an average growth rate of 9.52% between 1989 and 2019. Much of its wealth comes from natural resources, 90 percent of which are coal and rare metals. The largest factor in China’s wealth, however, stems from the success of the 1978 economic reform program, which eased state regulations on price and invested in the creation of private and rural businesses.