Macao has taken fifth place in a 2023 ranking of the wealthiest countries and territories around the world.
According to the list, which was published by Global Finance magazine, the SAR has a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of US$89,558 (722,067 patacas) based on purchasing power parity.
Global Finance noted that the city – with its tiny population and large number of casinos – had been “a money-making machine” in previous years but fell in the rankings during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The magazine stated that Macao has since returned to “business as usual,” although it remains the only place in the survey to have less purchasing power per capita than it did prior to the pandemic, with the current figure still US$35,000 less than the 2019 total of US$125,000.
Macao’s result still puts it above many of its neighbours, including Hong Kong, which was in twelfth place, with a per capita GDP of US$74,598, and Taiwan, whose figure of US$73,344 puts it in the fourteenth place.
At the height of its wealth in 2013, Macao had a per capita GDP of over US$145,000, a sum that was only second to Qatar, which registered a figure of approximately US$161,000.
While the government and local associations are optimistic about the city’s future economic trajectory, various issues abound, including mainland China’s faltering economy and the International Monetary Fund’s assessment of the lacklustre state of the global economy in the coming year.
Macao also remains a place of significant income inequality, with the top 10 percent of the population controlling 60 percent of the territory’s wealth, according to the World Inequality Database. By one estimate, some 4.6 percent of households were living in poverty in 2022 – the last year of the pandemic.