Economics

The Richest Countries in Asia

Macau, Qatar, and Singapore rank as the three wealthiest nations in Asia.

The economy of Asia is the fastest growing continental economy and also the largest continental economy in terms of GDP (PPP). The economy comprises of over 4.4 billion people living in the 49 nations of the continent. The wealth of the continent is unequally distributed both within and between the countries of Asia. Here, we present the 10 wealthiest economies in Asia in terms of GDP per capita.

10. Bahrain - $22,354

Manama, Bahrain.

Bahrain is an island country in the Middle East that is connected to Saudi Arabia via the King Fahd Causeway. The country houses a population of 1,234,571 including 666,172 non-nationals. Bahrain is Asia’s third smallest nation. The country has the fastest growing economy in the Arab world. The economy of Bahrain is the world’s 12th freest and the freest in the Middle East. The most important export of the country is processed petroleum. Aluminum, finance, and construction materials are the other biggest products and services of Bahrain.

9. Brunei Darussalam - $26,938

Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

Brunei, a Southeast Asian economy, is the ninth richest country in Asia with a GDP per capita of $26,938.5 USD. The country has a stretch of coastline along the South China Sea, and its land borders are with Malaysia. Brunei’s economy is small but rich and factors like efficient government regulation, welfare measures, and a conducive environment for entrepreneurship boost the growth of Brunei’s economy. The exports of crude oil and natural gas are the biggest contributors to the GDP of the country. Brunei is Southeast Asia’s third largest oil producer and the world’s fourth largest LNG (liquefied natural gas) producer. Domestic production is supplemented by overseas investments.

8. Korea, Rep. - 27,538

Seoul, South Korea.

South Korea is located in East Asia in the Korean Peninsula’s southern part. The country has a mixed economy, one of the biggest in Asia with a per capita GDP of $27,538.8 USD. The developed country is known for its internationally famous brands like Samsung and LG Electronics. The country has a highly skilled and educated workforce. The country’s economy is heavily reliant on international trade.

7. Israel - 37,292

Tel Aviv, Israel.

Israel is the seventh richest Asian country in terms of GDP per capita which is $37,292.6 USD. The country has coastlines along the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

The country’s highly educated workforce and well-developed education system have spurred rapid economic development and a technology boom in the country. Israel has the 24th most competitive economy in the world. The country hosts the second highest number of startup companies. Israel is self-sufficient in food production. Machinery, cut diamonds, chemicals, apparel, agricultural products, etc., are the top export products of Israel.

6. United Arab Emirates - $37,622

The skyline of Dubai, UAE.

The GDP per capita of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is $37,622.2 USD, the sixth highest in Asia. The country is located in Western Asia in the Arabian Peninsula’s southeast end. UAE houses a population of 9.2 million including 7.8 million expatriates and 1.4 million Emiratis.

The economy of UAE is the second largest among the GCC member countries after Saudi Arabia in terms of GDP. The country is ranked as the 26th best nation for conducting business. UAE’s economy is the most diversified in the GCC. However, still the economy is highly reliant on oil revenues and natural and gas and petroleum are the top exports.

5. Japan - $38,894

Shibuya crossing is one of the busiest crossings in the world.

The East Asian nation of Japan located in the Pacific Ocean is the fifth richest country in Asia with a GDP per capita of $38,894.5USD.

The Japanese economy is highly reliant on the country’s automobile and electronics goods industry. The country is the 3rd largest automobile manufacturing nation and is also the biggest electronics goods industry in the world. Japan is one of the most innovative nations in the world and the biggest creditor nation globally. However, the Japanese economy also faces considerable threats, the biggest being a steeply falling population.

4. Hong Kong SAR, China - $43,681

#4 Hong Kong SAR, China - $43,681

Hong Kong, a SAR (Special Administrative Region) of China, is an autonomous territory based on the delta of the Pearl River. Hong Kong occupies an area of 1,104 square km and houses a multiethnic population of around 7.2 million. On the basis of GDP per capita, Hong Kong ranks as the fourth richest Asian nation. The GDP per capita of Hong Kong is $43,681.1 USD.

The economy of Hong Kong is highly dependent on international trade and finance. Hong Kong is one of the world’s top-rated international financial centers. The country also has low taxation rates. The economy of Hong Kong ranks number one in terms of the degree of economic freedom. Hong Kong has ample reserves of foreign exchange, little public debt, and an efficient legal system. Hong Kong port is one of the largest in the world in terms of container throughput. There is an abundant supply of cheap and skilled labor in Hong Kong. The SAR also earns huge revenue from the tourism sector.

3. Singapore - $52,960

#3 Singapore - $52,960

Singapore is the third richest Asian nation with a GDP per capita of $52,960.7 USD. The Southeast Asian nation consists of one main island and 62 smaller islets.

The country has a well-established trade-oriented market economy. It is one of the least corrupt and most business-friendly economies in the world. The highly conducive investment scenario in Singapore attracts a large number of global investors. The country promotes innovation and entrepreneurship. The country’s port serves as the second busiest port in the world by cargo tonnage.

2. Qatar - $59,330

Doha, the capital of Qatar.

The West Asian nation of Qatar, located in the Arabian Peninsula’s northeastern coast, is the second richest country in Asia with a GDP per capita of $59,330.9 USD. The country shares its only land border with Saudi Arabia and has a coastline along the Persian Gulf.

Qatar’s economy is based on the export of petroleum and liquefied natural gas. It accounts for 70% of the country’s government revenue, over 85% of the export earnings, and over 60% of the GDP. Qatar has an immense reserve of oil that can sustain the economy at the current levels for 23 years. Long term goals of the country include the diversification of the economy to reduce the dependency on oil, a fast-depleting resource.

1. Macao SAR, China - $73,187

Editorial credit: NAYUKI / Shutterstock.com.

An autonomous region of East Asia, Macau is the world’s most densely populated region. Macau houses a population of 650,900 within an area of 30.5 square km. The economy of Macau is largely tourism-based. Export-oriented manufacturing of textiles and garments and financial services including banking are the other most profitable economic sectors of Macau. Over 50% of the country’s GDP is contributed by the tourism, gaming, and hospitality industry. Macau has well-established and stable trade relations with more than 120 countries and regions of the world. The tourist arrivals in Macau dramatically increased from 9.1 million in 2000 to 22 million in 2006. The gambling industry also attracts a large number of tourists to Macau. Macau is also considered by many as a tax haven and a free port boosting international trade in the region.

Which Are The Richest Countries In Asia?

RankCountryGDP Per Capita (in US$)
1Macao SAR, China73,187.0
2Qatar59,330.9
3Singapore52,960.7
4Hong Kong SAR, China43,681.1
5Japan38,894.5
6United Arab Emirates37,622.2
7Israel37,292.6
8Korea, Rep.27,538.8
9Brunei Darussalam26,938.5
10Bahrain22,354.2

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