The Caribbean is awash with a variety of Treasures both on and off its shores. It is almost like these Richest Caribbean islands are so relaxed and almost cut off from the hustle and bustle in other parts of the world. This impression of luxurious scenery and seclusion appeals to many tourists.
Notwithstanding, the Caribbean plays a greater role than what holidaymakers expect. One might be curious as to the source of the riches of these Islands. What makes up these Islands’ economies?
According to history, the Richest Caribbean islands belonged to previous European colonies. After independence, they have succeeded in building their economies and competing favorably in the world economy. Across the board, tourism is an industry that has flourished in the Caribbean islands. A number of factors have contributed to the success of the tourism industry in the Caribbean. The natural features that surround them are a major contributing factor. For instance, many Caribbean islands are surrounded by beautiful scenes of nature, oceans, landforms, and plantations.
Apart from tourism, many of these Richest Caribbean islands have a strong agriculture industry that is well established. A good number of them I’ve opened up to manufacturing Industries and financial institutions. Many offshore accounts of notable business people across the world are located in these islands. Many of the islands provide a haven for business tycoons to keep their money. For one thing, these banks protect the identities of offshore bank account owners. They also absolve them from taxes when moving their funds around.
If you want to have a good time in the Caribbean, make sure to visit these 14 richest islands. These are the most scenic places where people love to go, and they provide unforgettable memories for visitors from all over the world. You will be able to experience everything there is on offer from beaches, festivals, architecture, and of course, food! This article would tell you more about what it has to offer and why it’s so popular with tourists.
The following list represents the GDP per capita of the islands in the Caribbean region. Even though some of the GDP figures are low, it shows promise for an area that has undergone lots of development and transformation after decades of struggle.
1. Haiti $1,300
The economy of Haiti can be regarded as a free economy with low labor costs. They have one major trading partner- the United States. The economy is majorly based on agriculture. This is mostly of the subsistence form. Over half the world’s vetiver oil comes from Haiti. Bananas and cocoa import and export crops.
The country has also gone ahead to improve its high-end manufacturing industry. Because the island is vulnerable to natural disasters and limited access to education, Haiti has been seriously disadvantaged.
The agricultural sector employs two-fifths of Haiti’s population.
2. Jamaica $9,000
Jamaica’s economy depends heavily on services. The service industry accounts for 70% of the country’s GDP. Blessed with natural resources and an ideal climate, they also engage in agriculture. They produce sugar and banana in large export quantities.
In the 1970s, Jamaica was a world leader in the export of minerals as foreign investment increased. Notwithstanding, weakness in the financial sector and lower levels of investment have eroded confidence in the sector.
The tourism industry in Jamaica is a vibrant and lively one. In 2019, the influx of tourists was so much that it resulted in the need to cater to tourists’ rise more efficiently. It had more than four million visitors in 2019, resulting in revenue of $3.3 billion.
3. The Dominican Republic $9,700
The Dominican Republic is the largest economy in Latin America and the largest in the Richest Caribbean islands. The island is an upper-middle-income country that depends primarily on mining, agriculture, trade, and services.
The Dominican Republic has the single largest gold mine in Latin America- the Pueblo Viejo mine. Agriculture remains a critical sector with regards to domestic consumption. It is also next to mining in export earnings.
The services industry is the leading employer of Dominicans. This is majorly due to the growth in tourism and free-trade zones. Also, remittances contribute to the economy. Through remittances, small businesses and other productive activities have been financed.
4. Cuba $10,200
The economy of Cuba is planned in such a way that state-owned enterprises run everything. The government owns and operates most industries.
The service sector in Cuba is dominated by tourism and finance. This has generated $1.7 billion. The agricultural industry in Cuba majorly produces sugarcane, potatoes, tobacco, rice, coffee, and beans. The industries that thrive in the economy are biotechnology and the pharmaceutical industries.
5. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines $12,100
St Vincent and the Grenadines has an economy that relies majorly on agriculture. Over 60% of the workforce is employed on banana plantations.
Although this boosts the island’s GDP, reliance on a single crop makes the economy vulnerable to external factors such as natural disasters and plant disease. The tourism industry here is also growing. It is a desirable destination for yachting enthusiasts.
6. Saint Lucia $13,100
Saint Lucia gained a majority of its wealth from banana exports. However, in 2010, a hurricane-damaged much of the island’s banana crops. Subsequently, the banana cultivation struggled to keep up with international competition from Latin America. Tourism was the natural alternative. Thankfully, the tourism industry has prospered and helped to boost the economy. Also, the Island has attracted foreign investment in petroleum and other ventures.
7. Grenada $13,800
Grenada has a small open economy that is majorly based on tourism. Up to 70% of the island’s GDP comes from the service industry. In the last 20 years, the economy has shifted from agriculture-based to a service-based economy. Notwithstanding, the island remains a major exporter of spices. It is the largest exporter of nutmeg worldwide. Other agricultural exports include cocoa, banana, and citrus fruits.
Grenada has capitalized on the increase in demand for ecologically friendly tourism. It has provided a series of eco-friendly guest houses. It is also a choice destination for tourists looking for beach and watersports holidays.
8. Dominica $14,300
In August 2007, hurricane Dean struck in Dominica. This led to the loss of nearly 20% of GDP and reduced economic activity. It also led to high inflation and several other attendant economic problems. In 2008, Dominica had the lowest GDP of the Eastern Caribbean States. This reality has changed, and things have since turned around for the island. Agriculture is central to this regained prosperity. They produce coffee, aloe vera, and exotic fruits.
The island is also a preferred destination for eco-tourists. It has a scenic array of mountains, hot springs, waterfalls, and freshwater lakes. It is known as the “Nature Isle of the Caribbean.”
9. Saint Kitts and Nevis $16,300
This twin-island Federation prospers majorly due to tourism and export-oriented manufacturing. Agriculture also accounts for 39% of the land. The service industry also contributes about 75% of the GDP. The islands also offer citizenship by investment, offering passports and visas in exchange for considerable investment.
10. Antigua and Barbuda $18,400
This is an ideal place for luxury holidays. Antigua and Barbuda’s agricultural production is targeted towards the domestic market. However, it faces the threat of limited water supply and labor shortage as many people prefer to work for higher wages in tourism and construction.
Although tourism brings income to the island, it constitutes a threat to local production. This means that the island will need to rely on imports from other countries.
11. Trinidad and Tobago $20,300
In November 2011, Trinidad and Tobago were removed from the list of developing countries. It has grown its economy to a level that is no longer referred to as a developing nation. The vibrant petroleum industry is at the heart of Trinidad and Tobago’s flourishing economy. Oil and gas generate up to 40% of GDP and 80% of exports.
The manufacturing industry also contributes a large quota to the GDP. In the same vein, tourism, to an extent, adds to the GDP. However, tourism in Trinidad and Tobago is not as buoyant as in other Caribbean islands.
12. Barbados $25,100
Barbados was initially part of the British Empire up until 1966. since gaining independence from the British, it has transformed itself from a low-income economy highly dependent on sugar production into a well-developed economy built on tourism.
Presently, the Island has the third largest Stock Exchange in the Caribbean islands. Despite this, statistics show that 20% of the population lives in poverty, and nearly 10% find it difficult to meet basic nutrition needs. This demonstrates that despite a growing economy, they are marked inequalities that need to be addressed. Inequality reduces the overall economic growth. It also challenges the principle of democracy and fairness. Some characteristics are similar among the Richest Caribbean islands.
13. Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico has the most competitive economy in Latin America. The manufacturing industry primarily drives the economy. Manufacturing accounts for up to 46% of GDP. this consists mostly of pharmaceuticals, electricals, and textiles.
Although poor in natural resources, Puerto Rico has built trade with the United States, Ireland, and Japan for the materials it needs. It has made the nation to be highly sensitive to fluctuations in the world economy. Notwithstanding, Porto Rico has well-developed tourism and the services industry, which revolves around the Island’s natural beauty.
14. The Bahamas $32,000
The Bahamas is on top of our list. The tourism industry in The Bahamas is top-notch and second to none. The Island is idyllic, and it makes the most of its natural splendor. It attracts visitors from all over the world to its sandy shores. The Bahamas is one of the most visited and Richest Caribbean islands.
Tourism massively boosts the economy here. It accounts for up to 60% of GDP and employs more than half of the population.
The Bahamas is the third richest country in the Americas, following the United States and Canada. The economy also boasts of a flourishing financial services industry. This makes up about 15% of the GDP.