(Newser) – A “gambling mecca” is set to oust Qatar as the richest place on Earth, per the International Monetary Fund’s newest stats. Bloomberg reports that the IMF’s World Economic Outlook database has pegged Macau as the planet’s wealthiest place, with its economy on track to reach the equivalent of $143,116 by 2020. Qatar, meanwhile, will come in at $139,151 by then. Macau, an autonomous region that holds the only legal casinos in China, is also set to even further outpace Qatar by 2023, with an expected GDP per capita of $172,681 to Qatar’s $158,117.
The South China Morning Post describes Macau’s “meteoric rise to the top of world gaming” as the reason behind its newfound status, though a Macau social commentator and attorney says the region has a lot to improve on in many areas, including quality of life, education, health, and pollution. Luxembourg, Singapore, and Brunei Darussalam round out the IMF’s top five, while the US takes the No. 12 spot in the rankings.
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