Top 10 Richest Countries in Asia – 2018 Updated List

Top 10 Richest Countries in Asia – 2018 List

Asia is perhaps the most diverse continent in terms of culture, geography, and economic performance. Here, we take a look at the 10 richest countries in Asia.This list is compiled using World Bank Data, and integrates Gross Domestic Product estimates alongside Purchasing Power Parity (which may differ from standard GDP per capita estimates). PPP translates local salaries and prices into what we could expect to see if the population were living in the U.S. with similar price ranges.

10. China Average Income – $14,190

Everything is made here, including a vast economic system. Known for being the biggest exporter of construction, electronics, most textiles and many plastic goods, China has a system so diversified it’s hard to keep track of every sector that is directly affected by this nation. Unfortunately, though it has the strongest presence on the world stage as a trade partner, wages are typically low for the average worker, and “industrial cities” have been known to pop up with dubious safety and human rights measures in place. That being said, among the more urbanized provinces, banking and foreign trade has garnered many a respectable salary, placing China as the first nation on this list.

9. Thailand Average Income – $16,081

Coming in as a newly developed economy, Thailand is a place of economic contradictions. While they are among the most productive in terms of electronics exports in the world, much of the local economy still relies quite heavily on the agricultural sector, which is by its very nature not terribly technology dependent. To make matters more interesting, Thailand can also boast (if one could boast about such things) of having the largest black market economy, which is thought to have nearly 41% of the GDP value of the nation behind it. Seeing as there have been economic disruptions due to government actions in the past decades, it is yet to be seen how well this nation will fare in the near future.

8. Turkey Average Income – $19,610

While more often in the news for the response to the Syrian Crisis next door, Turkey also has a remarkable economy. Seen as an international breadbasket and one of the major crop exporters to the E.U., this country is one of the very few who has made a significant profit in the agricultural sector. This nation also has the benefit of being the second biggest contributor to construction worldwide in terms of contractors and materials, with only China surpassing it. Given its proximity to the Euro Zone, Turkey also has the benefit of being able to offer unique tourist destinations for to a remarkably large market, and has taken full advantage of that whenever possible. As to be expected, however, recent political and military developments have slowed the tourism industry substantially.


7. Russia Average Income – $23,744

With both one of the largest land masses and oil reserves on the planet, Russia reaches a respectable #7 for richest in terms of average purchasing power. Having somewhat transitioned to a pure state-owned economic model, the massive mining systems and fuel extraction sectors have bolstered the economy for decades. Other large employers for Russians are the defense sectors and aerospace sectors, whose weapons manufacturing and space programs are both known the world over. As an interesting aside, Russia is one of the very few countries whose banking system fails to lend itself towards major growth of the economy, as the population tends to not actively trust the banks as a whole.

6. Malaysia Average Income – $25,833

MalaysiaDespite having a low population density, Malaysia easily competes with other economies in Asia that whose statistics should overrun them with hiring figures alone. One major contributing factor to the success of Malaysia is how easy it is to do business with on an international scale; This country ranks 17th among the 185 countries listed as of 2016. Alongside the smooth international business relations, Malaysia is also a major exporter of oil, both Palm and Petroleum. Not to be seen as a destroyer of the environment, there is also major interest in the manufacture of renewable energy collectors, namely solar panels. A sector unique to Malaysia’s economy is the large medical tourism industry, where nearly $200 Million is spent each year by foreigners to have procedures done that, even with the plane ticket, are likely cheaper than if they were performed domestically.

5. United Arab Emirates Average Income – $35,400

Home to some of the largest buildings on the planet, and traffic jams that at times resemble luxury car lots, the UAE is an economic giant. Having nearly 90% of its economy based of petroleum and petroleum products, the Emirates are major players in both the World Trade Organization and OPEC, with the Emirate of Abu Dhabi being the primary contributor to the countries wealth. Dubai, another major Emirate, is quickly being a major contributor to the nations wealth through luxury tourism, even after being heavily delayed in major construction efforts during the 2008 global economic crisis. This trend of gaining prosperity may continue as nearly a fourth of the GDP is now dedicated to education efforts, and there are multiple legislative actions in the works to lessen workplace and hiring discrimination.

4. South Korea Average Income – $36,528

South Korea is one of the very few nations on the planet to experience economic growth on what could be described as a logarithmic scale. While South Korea did have a hard time recovering from the Korean War up until the 1970’s which left it quite destitute, change was in the air. Innovation within the nation, particularly in automotive production, ship building, and electronic fields, have made South Korea the single fastest developing economy in Asia. Luckily for South Korea, this has also turned into a massive upturn in quality of life and education for the populace in general which will secure its position on this list for a long while.

3. Japan Average Income – $38,216

Giants in the automotive, electronic and lending industries, the Japanese economy is particularly strong. Often seen as the nation at the edge of the future, Japan has some of the most modern and accommodating cities in the world alongside a research and development industry second to none. While the island of Japan is not particularly rich in terms of natural resources, thanks to the hard work oriented culture and innovation in almost every economic field to do with technology, this nation has become rather wealthy.

2. Taiwan Average Income – $ 43,599

Though our previous country on the list is touted as the tech hub of the world, Taiwan is definitely the IT support headquarters. While as recently as the 1960’s Taiwan had at best a moderately successful agricultural economy, recent decades (that have been influenced heavily by education-oriented legislature) have seen this country open more technology repair and training institutes than any other country. With it’s main import and export partner countries being Japan, China and the United States, this place that could often be seen as small is certainly playing in the big leagues when it comes to economic gains.

1.Saudi Arabia Average Income – $53,149

The single biggest economic powerhouse in the Middle East is also the single richest country in Asia. While in recent memory this country has suffered educational and economic hardships that have hit the native 11% of the Saudi population particularly hard, oil has remained the business of the day, and business is good. After joining the World Trade Organization in 2005 and being a founding member of OPEC, Saudi Arabia has maintained itself as one of the primary economic and production pillars of petroleum products. As to be expected with such a profitable industry, this country finds itself as the richest in Asia in terms of Purchasing Power Parity and GDP.


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