It Pays to Be Rich in These 20 Countries, Study Finds

You could save big on income taxes by moving abroad.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a high net worth, you likely want to hold onto as much of your present and future wealth as possible. In that case, you might want to consider moving abroad, a new GOBankingRates study found.

Numerous countries have lower income taxes than the U.S., with some having no income taxes at all. And some of these countries have a lower cost of living than the U.S., too. So not only will you keep more of your cash, but you’ll spend less of it as well.

GOBankingRates determined the overall best and worst countries for the rich by considering each nation’s individual income taxes and cost of living, as well as education, life expectancy, local purchasing power and income per capita. Countries were ranked for each category, and the overall score was used to determine the best and worst countries.

Also See: From Alabama to Wyoming — The Cost of Living Across America


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The top five countries for the wealthy are all in the Middle East region:

  1. Qatar
  2. Saudi Arabia
  3. United Arab Emirates
  4. Oman
  5. Kuwait

All five of these countries have zero income tax and a high purchasing power, which means that employees can take home 100 percent of their paychecks. And because of the high purchasing power in these countries, your money will stretch further for goods and services. These countries also have significantly higher-than-average incomes when compared to all the other countries in the study. In fact, the No. 1 country for the rich, Qatar, has the largest income per capita of all of the countries in the study.

Find Out: Does Money Buy Happiness in Other Countries?

Conversely, the worst countries for the rich have high individual income tax rates, lower life expectancy, and low education scores. The four worst countries for the rich are located in the African region.

Here are the best and worst countries for the rich:

Best and Worst Countries for the Rich
RankCountryIndividual Income
Tax Rate
Cost of Living IndexLocal Purchasing PowerLife Expectancy IndexEducation IndexIncome per Capita
1Qatar0.0065.370125.050.8970.698$124,900
2Saudi Arabia0.0047.860131.460.8380.768$55,300
3United Arab Emirates0.0067.210124.780.8790.687$68,200
4Oman0.0049.31099.240.8760.652$45,500
5Kuwait0.0056.900100.580.8390.611$69,700
6Bahrain0.0059.63072.290.8730.717$51,800
7Romania10.0039.71066.20.8440.769$24,000
8Montenegro9.0044.41048.680.8680.797$17,400
9Bulgaria10.0041.21054.440.8360.778$21,600
10Kazakhstan10.0034.25040.750.7630.805$26,100
11Bosnia and Herzegovina10.0039.26052.40.8710.694$11,400
12Serbia10.0039.59041.810.8470.76$15,200
13Macedonia10.0034.84042.550.8540.673$15,200
14Belarus13.0034.06041.320.7920.834$18,600
15Hungary15.0048.60050.620.8510.834$28,900
16Lithuania15.0053.24057.290.8230.882$31,900
17Russia13.0043.89051.110.7730.816$27,900
18Estonia20.0057.65074.820.8770.877$31,500
19Bahamas0.00100.68071.40.8550.715$25,100
20Ukraine18.0025.98030.240.7870.803$8,700
21Costa Rica15.0056.20054.70.9170.684$17,200
22Canada33.0072.480118.920.9570.89$48,100
23Slovakia25.0050.41067.290.8680.823$32,900
24Mauritius15.0055.04046.660.8400.725$21,600
25Guatemala7.0046.87041.30.8010.508$8,200
26United States37.0072.950127.620.9110.9$59,500
27Poland32.0045.20074.420.8860.852$29,300
28Albania23.0037.88037.030.8920.715$12,500
29Cyprus35.0060.32094.780.9280.878$36,600
30Lebanon20.0060.23056.360.9160.656$19,500
31Sri Lanka24.0034.32029.560.8470.752$13,000
32Malaysia28.0044.73072.980.8450.7$28,900
33Czech Republic22.0050.09076.350.9040.415$35,200
34New Zealand33.0083.41098.610.9540.917$38,500
35Iraq15.0043.88051.20.7630.5$17,000
36Egypt22.5025.69024.670.7900.601$13,000
37Jordan20.0055.09043.430.8330.701$12,500
38Panama25.0052.41039.120.8890.691$24,300
39Germany45.0074.350125.010.9400.914$50,200
40Trinidad and Tobago25.0054.57054.910.7770.717$31,200
41Latvia31.4053.42053.10.8360.835$27,300
42Chile35.0055.24054.530.9530.784$24,600
43Mexico35.0033.56058.180.8770.655$19,500
44Australia45.0084.300122.980.9620.939$49,900
45Malta35.0070.92066.240.9340.781$42,500
46Peru30.0039.64037.070.8430.672$13,300
47Argentina35.0053.74060.150.8690.808$20,700
48Pakistan20.0025.08041.110.7130.395$5,400
49Brazil27.5051.33041.560.8420.681$15,500
50Spain45.0061.75090.670.9660.818$38,200
51Luxembourg45.7896.560116.730.9520.783$109,100
52Turkey35.0041.80053.780.8540.668$26,500
53Croatia36.0055.06059.770.8850.779$24,100
54Dominican Republic25.0047.90027.430.8250.622$17,000
55United Kingdom45.0075.850108.540.9360.896$43,600
56South Korea42.0082.940109.360.9560.867$39,400
57Tunisia35.0027.67038.230.8460.643$12,000
58Algeria35.0032.13035.980.8470.658$15,100
59Armenia36.0033.45031.780.8440.73$9,100
60Honduras25.0044.28034.860.8210.518$5,500
61Ireland48.0085.45096.10.9390.91$72,600
62Colombia35.0035.29038.590.8340.63$14,500
63India35.8826.88079.270.7430.535$7,200
64Venezuela34.0032.21040.8370.71$12,400
65Indonesia30.0039.74037.490.7550.622$12,400
66Ecuador35.0044.28039.390.8630.665$11,200
67Italy43.0079.06081.070.9740.814$38,000
68Slovenia50.0059.65080.330.9320.886$34,100
69Bangladesh30.0031.99039.570.8000.457$4,200
70Jamaica30.0060.62035.260.8590.678$9,200
71Vietnam35.0039.44030.090.8610.617$6,900
72Netherlands51.9582.690109.480.9490.897$53,600
73El Salvador30.0047.87030.920.8200.584$8,900
74Thailand35.0048.91038.590.8400.641$17,800
75Greece45.0063.15053.80.9400.83$27,800
76Switzerland40.00131.390126.150.9710.891$61,400
77France49.0083.860101.210.9590.839$43,600
78Portugal48.0055.86061.970.9410.756$30,300
79Norway46.60113.700107.950.9490.916$70,600
80Uruguay36.0066.88034.310.8820.717$22,400
81Belgium50.0083.35098.910.9380.841$46,300
82Israel50.0086.530102.30.9620.87$36,200
83Finland53.7581.700119.420.9390.847$44,000
84Morocco38.0037.12045.070.8360.503$8,600
85Sweden57.3483.700113.010.9590.855$51,300
86Zambia37.5046.490101.260.6280.577$4,000
87Denmark55.8593.300117.530.9290.923$49,600
88Austria55.0081.47098.690.9470.82$49,200
89Japan55.9586.580107.350.9800.842$42,700
90Iceland46.24123.96087.840.9650.906$52,100
91South Africa45.0048.05099.830.5790.705$13,400
92Uganda40.0032.67021.390.6030.467$2,400
93Ethiopia35.0047.55014.980.6860.318$2,100
94Zimbabwe51.5049.54027.290.6030.544$2,300

Click to read more about the 50 cheapest countries to live in.

Alex Solonin contributed to the reporting for this article and research.

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Methodology: GOBankingRates determined the best and worst countries for the rich based on the following factors: (1) individual income taxes, using the highest marginal rate, sourced from KPMG; (2) human development index, (3) education index, (4) life expectancy index, all sourced from United Nations Development Programme; (5) local purchasing power index, (6) overall cost of living index, sourced from Numbeo on April 20, 2018; (7) income per capita, sourced from the CIA World Factbook.