Asia is not only the largest continent in the world – it is the home of many of the world’s richest countries as well. The wealth ranking of the countries listed below is based on each nation’s gross national income (GNI) per capita, or the amount of money earned by its citizens.
Richest Countries in Asia
With a GNI of $116,799, the Qataris are considered the richest in Asia – and the entire planet. Although its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is only $308.6 billion, it is only divided amongst its small population of 2.6 million people.
Its economy is powered by its oil reserves, which comprise 13% of the world’s supply. It is the planet’s second-largest exporter of natural gas – and such contributes to 60% of the country’s GDP.
This Special Administrative Region of China has a mere population of 600,000, yet it has a high GDP of $65.3 billion. With that being said, it is the second-richest state-country in Asia – and the world. The former Portuguese colony gets most of its money from the casino industry, which earns 7 times more than its western equivalent that is Las Vegas.
As the second freest economy in the world, Singapore enjoys the title of being the third most prosperous nation in Asia. Its economy is heralded as competitive, innovative, and business-friendly by many reputable financial institutions.
It has a triple AAA credit rating from Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch – the only Asian country to receive so. With a sprawling population of 5.6 million and a GDP of $480 billion, Singapore has the third-highest GNI per capita in the world at $82,503.
Brunei may be small in size, but its rich oil reserves have made it the fourth-richest country in Asia – and the entire world (If you want to know more about this country, visit Brunei Facts Page!). The country’s oil fields are so bountiful that Brunei can produce 167,000 barrels every day. This makes the nation the ninth-largest exporter of gas in the world. Brunei may only have a GDP of $30.8 billion, but it is only being shared by a mere population of almost 430,000.
Like most of the Middle Eastern countries, Kuwait makes most of its GDP – 90% to be exact – from petroleum exports. With a GNI of $72,872, it is currently the fifth most affluent country in Asia (To know more facts about Kuwait, visit Interesting Facts about Kuwait!). Additionally, it is the second-richest amongst the gulf countries. It could’ve been richer, if not for a GDP slowdown of 2.9% in 2017.
6. United Arab Emirates
The federation of seven emirates is home to 9.4 million people – jointly they account for a high GDP of $632.6 billion.
Petrol may be the primary driver of the UAE economy, though many other industries are pitching into the country’s wealth as well. The finance and business sectors are contributing greatly to the GDP, many thanks to UAE’s good economic conditions and information technology infrastructure. Its tourism industry is faring good as well, with its state of Dubai being acclaimed as the fifth-most popular tourist destination in the world.
7. Hong Kong
Hong Kong, China’s other Special Administrative Region, has taken the 7th spot with its GNI per capita of $58,420. It is currently the home of 7.4 million people, who contribute to the state’s sprawling GDP of $414.3 billion.
Almost 93% of the Hong Kong GDP is generated by the service sector. It is considered a financial gateway, being the home of several corporate headquarters in Asia. Tourism also plays a role in the state’s wealth, as it has become the 14th most popular destination for international travelers.
8. Saudi Arabia
To date, the Saudi Arabian GDP of $1.6 trillion the 16th highest in the world. With a population of almost 33 million, this puts the country’s GNI per capita at $49,626.
Like most of the gulf nations, oil has made Saudi Arabia one of Asia’s wealthiest countries. It is the world’s largest exporter of petroleum, making it one of the few ‘energy superpowers.’ Oil exports make up 45% of Saudi Arabia’s GDP.
Being the home of Mecca, a sacred Islamic site, tourism has also boosted the Saudi Arabian economy. Apart from the Hajj pilgrims, the country has recently opened its borders to tourists from 50 select nations.
Its GDP might be the 100th out of 196 countries, but the small island nation is the ninth-richest in Asia. It has one of the highest GNIs in the world at $41,557 per capita. The country’s 1.5 billion residents owe Bahrain’s wealth to petroleum production and processing, which generates 60% of the country’s exports. Aluminum products come in second, while construction materials and finance allot for Bahrain’s third most lucrative exports.
Taiwan, China’s estranged sister, has become one of the richest countries in Asia. The citizens attribute this to the Taiwan Miracle – or the country’s industrialization that occurred in the late 20th century. Together with other rich Asian countries such as Hong Kong and Singapore, Taiwan is considered one of the “Four Asian Tigers.” This has categorized Taiwan as one of the nations that enjoy rapid industrialization and promising growth rates.
The bulk of Taiwan’s GDP comes from three industries, namely telecommunications, financial services, and utility services. Its GDP is 22nd out of 196 countries, making it one of the richest nations in Asia – and the whole world.
Most of the richest Asian countries rely on oil exports, while some count on tourist influx. As some of these nations are the richest in the entire world, Asia is indeed the home of some of the wealthiest people in the world.
I hope that this article on richest countries in Asia was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Country Ranking Page!