With summer approaching, many of us are dreaming of the soft sandy beaches and shining blue shallows promised by sunny Caribbean islands but for some lucky people, these exotic islands are home all year round.
Made up of over 700 islands, reefs, islets and cays, the Caribbean promises a variety of treasures both on and off its shores.
It seems that these islands are so relaxed their almost cut off from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world.
This impression of seclusion is largely a tourist-friendly illusion, however; the Carribean plays more of a role on the world stage than holiday-goers may expect. So what boosts these islands economies? What makes them crucial on the world stage?
Historically, most Caribbean islands belonged to a variety of European colonies. However, since achieving independence and/or autonomy, many Caribbean islands have managed to establish themselves competitively in the world economy.
Undeniably, tourism is the industry that has flourished the most in the region but many of these islands are also agricultural strongholds, or have opened up to manufacturing and financial industries.
The following list has been drawn up according to data collected by the World Bank estimating the GDP per capita of each island between 2009 and 2013. It ranks the top ten richest Caribbean islands from lowest to highest.
Although some of the GDP figures may seem low, they present promise for a region that has undergone huge development over the past two decades after a history of struggle.
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