In this article, we discuss the 20 richest countries in Europe. If you want to see the top 5 richest countries in the region, check out 5 Richest Countries in Europe.
As per the European Commission, the European economy is showing resilience despite global challenges. The first quarter of 2023 saw moderate growth due to lower energy prices, supply constraints easing, and a strong labor market, which has dispelled recession fears. This better-than-expected start has led to an improved growth outlook for the EU economy, with expected growth rates of 1.0% in 2023 and 1.7% in 2024, which are higher than the winter interim forecast of 0.8% and 1.6%, respectively. The euro area has also seen similar upward revisions in GDP growth, with expected growth rates of 1.1% and 1.6% in 2023 and 2024, respectively. Inflation has also been revised upward due to core price pressures, with expected rates of 5.8% in 2023 and 2.8% in 2024 in the euro region.
Despite the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and the energy crisis, the European economy has managed to avoid a recession due to swift diversification of energy sources and decreased gas consumption, according to the European Commission’s “Spring 2023 Economic Forecast”. The reduced energy costs are benefiting businesses and consumers, but wage growth is not keeping up with inflation and may affect private consumption. Inflation remains high, which could lead to tighter financing conditions. Although the European Central Bank and other central banks are expected to end the interest rate hikes soon, the recent financial sector turbulence could make accessing credit more challenging, causing a slowdown in investment growth, particularly in residential investment. The Guardian cited the European Commission on May 15, who commented in a report:
“The EU economy is managing the adjustment to the shocks unleashed by the pandemic and Russia’s aggression of Ukraine remarkably well. Last year, the EU successfully managed to largely wean itself off Russian gas.”
According to S&P Global’s report titled “Economic Outlook Eurozone Q2 2023,” despite the solid start of the eurozone economy in 2023, there is still a risk of a mild recession in the future. The firm’s forecast for GDP growth in 2024 has been significantly reduced from 1.4% to 1.0%, and it may not return to its potential until 2025. Headline inflation is expected to reach its target only by the first quarter of 2025, with core inflation following in the third quarter of 2025. Due to stubborn inflation, the European Central Bank will likely maintain higher interest rates for a longer period, possibly until the deposit facility rate reaches 3.50% by summer. The current outlook for growth and inflation could be undermined by market turbulence. While a restrictive monetary policy will affect domestic demand, positive interest rates in real terms are expected in 2024. However, production and the labor market could slow down. Despite this, S&P Global anticipates that consumer spending will improve due to government measures, rising wages, and disinflation, and external demand will benefit from China's reopening. Public investment will also help alleviate the cyclical slowdown and potentially enhance long-term GDP. Overall, the outlook is complicated but not catastrophic.
Although this article focuses on the wealthiest European countries, it's worth mentioning that in the face of the uncertain economic outlook, investors who want to protect their money in light of the uncertain economic forecast are turning to European companies like Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE:NVO), ASML Holding N.V. (NASDAQ:ASML), and Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS).
To determine the wealthiest countries in the world, we analyzed data from Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Databook 2022. This database calculates wealth (as of 2021) based on the value of financial and non-financial assets while subtracting debt. We selected the 20 richest countries in Europe based on total wealth, ranking the list in ascending order of wealth.
Richest Countries in Europe
Total Wealth in 2021: $547 billion
Situated in the heart of Europe, Hungary is a country without direct access to the sea, and its largest city and capital is Budapest. Due in large part to its cultural and economic impact, Hungary is considered to be a middle power on the global stage. The country has a high-income economy, and its citizens enjoy free secondary education and access to universal healthcare. Hungary boasts a rich history of noteworthy contributions to fields such as the arts, music, literature, sports, science, and technology. The country's economy is heavily dependent on exports, with its main trading partners being Germany, Austria, and Romania. It is one of the richest countries in Europe, with total wealth amounting to $547 billion in 2021.
Total Wealth in 2021: $640 billion
Situated at the convergence of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe, Romania is a nation with Bucharest as its capital and largest city. With a well-established economy and growing influence in international affairs, Romania is considered an emerging middle power. It is a high-income country that experienced a period of swift economic expansion in the early 2000s, and today its economy is mainly service-based. Additionally, Romania serves as a manufacturer and net exporter of machines and electrical energy. In 2021, the country’s total wealth came in at $640 billion.
Total Wealth in 2021: $679 billion
Located in Eastern Europe, Ukraine is a sovereign state with its capital and biggest city, Kyiv. Its governmental system is unitary with a semi-presidential structure. The nation's extensive fertile land allowed it to become one of the biggest global exporters of grain before the war. Ukraine played a crucial role in establishing the United Nations and is also a member of several other international organizations, including the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization, and the OSCE. Ukraine’s total wealth in 2021 came in at $679 billion, making it one of the richest countries in Europe.
Total Wealth in 2021: $701 billion
Czechia, or the Czech Republic, is a landlocked nation located in Central Europe, and its biggest city and capital is Prague. It is a well-developed country with a parliamentary republic government system, an advanced high-income social market economy, and a social welfare state based on the European model. Its citizens have access to universal healthcare and free university education. The Czech Republic is an active member of various international organizations, including the United Nations, NATO, the European Union, the OECD, the OSCE, the Council of Europe, and the Visegrád Group. In 2021, Czechia’s total wealth stood at $701 billion, which ranks it 17th on our list of the 20 richest countries in Europe.
Total Wealth in 2021: $817 billion
The Republic of Finland, a Nordic nation located in Northern Europe, has its biggest city and capital as Helsinki. It became a member of the European Union in 1995 and adopted the Eurozone currency when it was created in 1999. Additionally, it is set to join NATO in 2023. Finland consistently performs impressively in key indicators of national performance such as education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, and human development. In 2021, Finland’s total wealth came in at $817 billion.
Total Wealth in 2021: $914 billion
The Hellenic Republic, more commonly known as Greece, is located in Southeast Europe, with Athens serving as the capital and biggest city, followed by Thessaloniki and Patras. Greece operates as a unitary parliamentary republic and has a well-developed high-income economy that is one of the largest in the Balkans, where it holds a critical position as a regional investor. Greece is renowned for its significant cultural heritage, thriving tourism industry, and noteworthy shipping sector.
Total Wealth in 2021: $1.287 trillion
The Portuguese Republic, or simply Portugal, is positioned on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe, with its capital and most populous city being Lisbon. Portugal has had a deep and extensive impact on global culture, architecture, and language. It is a developed nation with an advanced economy and is part of the United Nations, the European Union, the Schengen Area, and the Council of Europe. Portugal also played a significant role in establishing organizations such as NATO, the eurozone, the OECD, and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. It is one of the richest European countries, with total wealth in 2021 amounting to $1.287 trillion.
Total Wealth in 2021: $1.413 trillion
The Kingdom of Norway is a Nordic country in Northern Europe, occupying the western and northernmost part of the Scandinavian Peninsula. The biggest city and capital of Norway is Oslo. Norway upholds the Nordic welfare model, which includes universal health care and an all-encompassing social security system, and its core principles are based on the concept of equality. The Norwegian government has significant ownership stakes in key industrial sectors, and the country has abundant reserves of natural resources such as petroleum, natural gas, minerals, seafood, lumber, and freshwater. The petroleum industry is responsible for roughly a quarter of Norway's gross domestic product (GDP). It is one of the richest countries in Europe based on total wealth as of 2021.
Total Wealth in 2021: $1.525 trillion
The Republic of Poland is a Central European country with Warsaw serving as its capital and largest city. It is an affluent market and high-income economy and is regarded as a middle power. Poland offers its citizens a high quality of life, safety, and economic freedom. Additionally, it provides free university education and has a universal health care system. Poland was a founding member of the United Nations and is also a member of the World Trade Organization, NATO, and the European Union. It is one of the richest countries in Europe, with total wealth in 2021 amounting to $1.525 trillion.
Total Wealth in 2021: $1.825 trillion
Austria is a landlocked country in Central Europe, known officially as the Republic of Austria. It consists of nine states, with Vienna being both the capital city and the most populous state. Austria operates as a parliamentary representative democracy, with a president as the head of state and a chancellor as the head of government and chief executive. The country has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and joined the European Union in 1995. Austria plays host to organizations such as the OSCE and OPEC, and it was one of the founding members of the OECD and Interpol. It is one of the richest countries in Europe, with total wealth in 2021 amounting to $1.825 trillion.
Austria is home to some of the largest corporations in Europe, similar to Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE:NVO), ASML Holding N.V. (NASDAQ:ASML), and Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS).
Total Wealth in 2021: $1.935 trillion
Denmark, a Nordic country in Northern Europe, has its capital and largest city as Copenhagen. In the late 19th century, Denmark emerged as an industrialized nation with a focus on exporting agricultural products. In the early 20th century, the country implemented significant social and labor-market reforms, which laid the foundation for the current welfare state model and a thriving mixed economy. Denmark is a developed nation with a high standard of living. It holds the status of a founding member in organizations like NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, OSCE, and the United Nations. Moreover, Denmark is part of the Schengen Area, maintaining close political, cultural, and linguistic ties with its adjacent Scandinavian states. In 2021, Denmark’s total wealth stood at $1.935 trillion, making it one of the richest European nations.
Total Wealth in 2021: $2.990 trillion
Sweden, known officially as the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Nordic nation situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. The country boasts a picturesque landscape dominated by extensive forests and numerous lakes, some of which are among the largest in Europe. Sweden is highly developed, governed by a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. The legislative authority is held by the Riksdag, a unicameral assembly consisting of 349 members. Sweden is renowned for its Nordic social welfare system, providing its citizens with universal healthcare and access to tertiary education. The country excels in various aspects, including quality of life, healthcare, education, civil liberties, economic competitiveness, income equality, gender equality, and overall prosperity. In 2021, Sweden’s total wealth stood at $2.990 trillion, making it one of the richest countries in Europe.
Total Wealth in 2021: $3.440 trillion
Belgium is a country in Northwestern Europe with Brussels as its capital and largest city. It is a developed country with a high-income economy and very high standards of living. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and a member of several international organizations such as NATO, OECD, and WTO. In 2021, Belgium’s total wealth came in at $3.440 trillion, making it one of the richest countries in Europe.
Total Wealth in 2021: $3.789 trillion
The Russian Federation, commonly known as Russia, is a country that spans across Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is considered the world's largest country, occupying approximately one-eighth of the Earth's habitable land. Russia possesses the world's largest reserves of minerals and energy sources, with high global rankings in oil and natural gas production. In 2021, Russia’s total wealth stood at $3.789 trillion, making it one of the richest countries in Europe.
Following the Russia-Ukraine conflict, businesses such as Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE:NVO), ASML Holding N.V. (NASDAQ:ASML), and Novartis AG (NYSE:NVS) have decided to halt their operations in Russia.
Total Wealth in 2021: $4.878 trillion
The Swiss Confederation, commonly known as Switzerland, is a country located in the middle of Western, Central and Southern Europe, without access to any sea or ocean. It is divided into three regions – the Swiss Plateau, the Alps, and the Jura. The Alps occupy the largest part of the country and are home to major cities and economic centers such as Zurich, Geneva, and Basel. Switzerland is considered one of the world's most developed nations, and it performs exceptionally well on various international measures, including economic competitiveness and democratic governance. In 2021, the country’s total wealth rounded up to nearly $5 trillion, making it one of the richest European nations.
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Disclosure: None. 20 Richest Countries in Europe is originally published on Insider Monkey.