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10. Algeria

Projected annual growth: 5%
2010 GDP: $76 billion*
2050 projected GDP: $538 billion

Algeria, endowed with Africa’s third-largest proven oil reserves,is one of the richest countries on the continent, and its wealth appears likely to grow further in the coming decades.

Oil reserves of 12 billion barrels have played a key role in luring foreign energy companies, including Anadarko and A.P. Moller-Maersk to the country. Petroleum products, the backbone of the economy, account for 95 percent of Algeria’s exports, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Revenues from its commodities exports have allowed Algeria’s government to accumulate large savings in an oil stabilization fund, estimated to be worth $55 billion,which helped shield the economy from the fall in energy prices in 2009.

An acceleration of household consumption and government fiscal expansion has also helped to boost growth in recent years. In 2009, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced a five-year plan to increase government spendingfrom $120 billion to $150 billion to improve national infrastructure, create 3 million jobs, and build 1 million new homes.

Although the country has favorable demographics on its side — with more than half the population under age 35 — the country faces high levels of youth unemployment. Over 20 percent of those in the 16-24 age bracket are unemployed, and Algeria has seen several protests during last year’s Arab Spring.

* Based on 2000 U.S. dollars

Photo: Doelean Yann | Getty Images