A 7-year old has been named YouTube's highest earning star after making almost $32m in the last financial year. That's more than 650 times what the average New Zealander makes in a year.

The US primary school student known to millions simply as "Ryan", is the star of the channel Ryan ToysReview which, in the last 12 months, saw earnings doubled.

His parents set up Ryan ToysReview in March 2015, and Ryan has since accumulated 17.3 million followers and almost 26 billion views.

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The videos he produces are brief and uncomplicated, capturing him playing and snickering with toys.

This straightforward format has gained traction with millions worldwide, and led to a collaboration with US department store Walmart to create his own range of toys.

Ryan recently explained his simple approach to US media outlet NBC: "I'm entertaining and I'm funny."

Forbes magazine says all but $1.38 million of the $32 million earned by Ryan's channel comes from advertising displayed before his videos, with the remainder earned from sponsored posts.

According to Australia's 9 News, Ryan's parents are putting 15 per cent of his earnings away into a bank account until he's an adult.

Second on the list of top YouTube earners is former Disney Star, Jake Paul, who raked in $31.1 million.

Meanwhile his brother, Logan Paul who received global backlash from a video last year, dropped to 10th place in the rankings.

On a trip to Japan, Paul showed the body of an apparent suicide victim in one of his videos. After the incident, the YouTuber kept relatively quiet on social media before a comeback confirmed he showed barely any remorse.

Yet he still earned almost $21.2m, $3 million more than in 2017.

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Last year's top earner, Minecraft gamer Daniel Middleton, slipped to fourth place in 2018 with $23.8m.