Asia’s 2018 Richest and Poorest Countries

Asia is the world’s largest continent, and also, it’s most populous. While Asia has come to have some of the biggest economies in the world such as India and China, it also hosts some weaker economies such as Nepal and Bangladesh. In this article, we analyze the economies of thirteen countries based on their economic indicators such as GDP, GDP per capita and also their economic sectors and populations. Economic indicators such as GDP and GDP per capita offer insights into living standards while the economic sectors offer insights into future developments of that economy. The article uses available consensus data from several sources that include investment banks, economic forecasting firms, and think tanks.

Many of the rich countries and many of the poor countries can attribute their fortunes to economic policies that made investment more favorable. Rich countries can attribute their success to good governance, the adoption of liberal market economics, and political stability. On the other hand, poor countries can attribute their failure to mismanagement, socialist policies that stifle investment, political turmoil, inadequate infrastructure, civil war, and weak financial institutions. Despite some countries having grim statistics, most of the poorer countries’ economies are looking up and are set to become some of the fastest growing in the coming decades. Read on for a breakdown of select richest and poorest countries.


The Malaysian Department of Statistics reported the country’s population at 28,334, 135 people in 2010. The figure positions Malaysia as the 42nd most populous in the world. The government estimates that the population is growing at an average of 1.54% annually. At a population density of about 96 persons per km squared, it ranks 116th in the world.

Malaysia is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and in South East Asia with a GDP of $746.821 billion in 2014. It is also one of the fastest growing economies in the ASEAN region growing by an average of 6% over the past five decades. According to HSBC, Malaysia will hit a GDP per capita of $29,247 by 2050, which will make it the 21st largest economy in the world.

credit: Wikipedia
The Malaysian economy is driven by its industry and service sectors that combined contribute up to half of its GDP. The most important economic sectors are electrical and electronics, automotive, construction, and defense. The services sectors most significant contributors are finance and banking, and tourism.

Population ranking (world): 44th
Total GDP ranking (world): 38th
Per capita GDP ranking (world): 62nd