As cliché as it may be, many believe that money makes the world go round. Upon second thought, this notion really doesn’t seem to be too farfetched at all. In general, some of the most powerful people in the world tend to be the richest ones, and some of the richest people in the world tend to become some of the most powerful.
Whether an accurate unit of measurement or not, a multitude of people around the world will end up defining their success through the money they’ve made throughout their lives. If not anything else, money is an easy unit of measurement to work with because it’s probably the only directly quantifiable measure of success there is.
Without further ado, here are the Top 10 Poorest Countries in the World.
Although this remains a list of the world’s poorest nations, some of the nations on this list are actually making progress in securing economic stability for themselves. Madagascar, unfortunately, is not one of these countries. Over the last 20 years, the standard of living within this island country has declined significantly.
With a population of more than 20 million people, Madagascar has a GDP per capita of $463.00, with about 70 percent of the nation’s people living under the poverty line. Once again reliant primarily on agriculture, the vulnerability of the industry, lack of potent farming land, and the growing population only make their economic situation worse and worse over time.
The Second Liberian Civil war was a conflict within Liberia that lasted from 1999 all the way through 2003. A quick look at history will show that wars generally don’t leave involved nations economically intact as a result. Liberia is no exception to this.
Having just been subject to a 14-year-long political conflict that not only ravaged lands but also needed to make use of some of Liberia’s already finite resources, the nation was left economically crumbled by the civil war. It is also of no benefit that Liberia is, once again, primarily reliant on agriculture to drive its economy.
The GDP per capita of the war-torn nation stands at $454.30, and in 2010, it was estimated that more than 80 percent of the nation’s people were living less with less than $1.25 per day. With low yields due to old farming technologies, as well as having overall poor infrastructure, Libera only marks the halfway point down this list of the poorest countries in the world.
Holding a population of 16 million while also being one of the smallest African nations doesn’t set you up for accumulation or distribution of wealth. Arguably the most underdeveloped nation in the world, Malawi suffers greatly in essentially all categories available.
Access to education, the general standard of healthcare, infrastructure, and quality of living conditions are all limited or substandard. Because the nation is unable to develop in general, they’re for all intents and purposes stuck with trying to drive their economy using only the most primitive levels of agriculture.
With common weather variations, as well as injuries and fatalities facilitated by poor health care, Malawi’s world’s lowest GDP per capita of $226.50 doesn’t seem like it will be rising too significantly any time soon.
Aside from being one of the world’s poorest, Niger stands as one of the world’s most underdeveloped nations across several categories. Although it continues to make developments in reducing infant mortality, and enhancing education, the development category of poverty has unfortunately remained rather stagnant, keeping the nation’s GDP per capita at $415.40.
Niger’s economy is driven by two main forces: the extraction of valuable natural resources available within the nation (including gold, uranium, and even oil), and small-scale agriculture. Unfortunately, both of these economic sources can easily be devastated by random shifts in climate and weather, and thus Niger has struggled in developing themselves economically.
Mozambique has plenty of arable land and water. Not only that, but it has plenty of energy and mineral resources. Despite that, it’s one of the poorest countries in the world, with the majority of the population living well below the poverty line. As it is, there are several reasons for this including corruption, severe climate conditions, and political instability.
In 2020, a French company secured nearly $16 billion in funding for a natural gas facility in the area. Many had hoped that the project would mark the start of a new beginning for the former Portuguese colony, but the project was ultimately suspended indefinitely after an escalation of violent attacks in the region.
5. The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Directly juxtaposing the previous entry in the list, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Africa’s second-largest country, holding a staggering population of roughly 77 million people.
A large population isn’t always a good thing, however, as (especially in poorer nations) this just means there is less money to go around. What is even more intriguing about this case, however, is the fact that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is actually very rich in valuable natural resources.
Similarly, the land expands over 2.35 million square kilometers, much of which is forests, although it also holds a great expanse of farmable lands and waters. In spite of all of these things, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been subject to a very unstable, corrupt political system that has been holding back the potential of the nation’s wealth drastically. As a result of this, with a GDP per capita of $484.20, a large portion of the nation’s people remain unemployed, and their lack of money thus results in their living within greatly inadequate living conditions.
4. The Central African Republic
Like Liberia, the Central African Republic has in the past been the victim of war and
significant political instability. The landlocked central African nation also supports very, very poor infrastructure, thus limiting the efficiency of the distribution of the nation’s resources.
Furthermore, this nation also shares similarities with most other African nations in that its economy is mostly directed by agriculture, although an estimated 45 percent of the Central African Republic’s export revenues are from diamonds.
However, because of the poor infrastructure and governance that the nation has to deal with, only about 4 percent of the actual arable land that the nation holds is actually used. As a result, the majority of the working population that works within the industry suffers immensely, holding the nation to a GDP per capita of $333.20.
Decades of droughts and floods coupled with massive levels of unemployment, especially among young people, have made Somalia one of the world’s poorest nations. According to UNDP statistics, the country has a poverty rate of 73%.
Their GDP was projected to grow over 3% in 2020, but it was ultimately interrupted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the World Bank states that the country could have a brighter future. For one thing, the Somali government has pledged its commitment to charting a course toward better growth and resilience.
2. South Sudan
South Sudan is the youngest country in the world. Once part of Sudan, they had separated to form a separate nation in 2011. Just two years later, however, a conflict broke out after the president accused his former deputy of staging a coup. As a result, nearly 400,000 people were killed.
What’s interesting, is that the country also ranks third in oil reserves in Sub-Saharan Africa. Rising security-related costs and falling commodity prices, however, have hammered the economy. Violence has also continued to ravage the land-locked state. In fact, it often prevents farmers from harvesting or planting crops.
Having suffered from recurring violence and political disputes, it is no surprise that Burundi ranks as the second poorest nation in the world, even though the country is working tirelessly to rebuild itself. Aside from the estimated 300,000 civilian casualties resulting in a 67 percent poverty rate, the violent political rivalries were also detrimental to Burundi’s agricultural development.
Even now, the nation ravaged by war holds very little farmable land, and any land that may be used for small-scale farming is still fragile due to the vulnerability to shifting climates and weather conditions. With the population growing rapidly, food prices rising, and a GDP per capita of $267.10, Burundi places as the second poorest country in the world.
Ethiopian leaders have been bragging about registering double digit growth for the past ten years or more; I am surprised to see Ethiopia listed as one of the ten poorest countries in the world. Can we safely say the Ethiopian leaders are cooking their numbers to make themselves look great ??
“Double digit” speak is an epidemic used by the media and Ethiopian government to pull the wool over your eyes. I just lived in Ethiopia for 4 years. In the capital, Addis, you will see some areas of wealth and prosperity, but if you look beneath the posh hotels and malls there and beneath the beautiful trees, you will see vast areas of dilapidation and destitution. If you take a bus ride out of Addis in any direction you will see heartbreaking poverty, kilometre after kilometre. If you stop and speak to the homeless- many of them women and families- and to the street children, and to ordinary people there, you will, if you are human, weep uncontrollably. The country is beautiful and the people are generally very lovely people, but the oppression and poverty are cruel and ungodly. Take a look at a handful of the thousands of photos I took while I was there. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/73b98c629d5c548027d5b42994acbb458eeb008fbc77e7d6f1c00975ec814736.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a923044ea4899bacc726548a91c757cb57edb8e097f2d71b0661244fe818e9b1.jpg
https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/abf10b2da33c0f82f5ebad57cea82f36f43b02eed274303c15b706ccb9ad2860.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a8091564c5b62d9f65a151ce538aa1d80b4d0b70c9a86cb87cc0596d74e78483.jpg and https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a3b5c05eb0709c36762c02db30dae016a54806d3e280d23a60a544502aef7522.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c0d4ce1fcc6d1d6f020f74a63de8b6da54da87e5a3f409c10719f8434be83b52.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0d547cf55aa9e59d92c7b8692bc556deb7d6458b950459777b762829107f1844.jpg and should bring tears to your eyes.
I have traveled to Ethiopia on a medical relief trip each year for the past five years. It is true, as soon as you leave Addis, poverty is seen in every direction. I have spent most of my time in remote villages in western Ethiopia, near the Sudan border. There, people are starving to death. It is heartbreaking to say the least. Children with tattered, dirty clothes (or no clothes at all), no shoes and and very distended abdomens can be seen all over. They not only don’t have enough food to eat, but are drinking the same disease infested water that animals wade in, etc. It is difficult to believe that there is a place in this world where conditions are worse.
1 – Malawi (GDP per capita of $226.50)
farming is poor work by hand.
This article fails to elaborate on the true reasons to such poverty, thus has a lack of depth. I hope we can all stand up to such propaganda and enlighten the world.
Please check your facts!! According to IMF & World Bank, Ethiopian GDP is over $1,500, making it around the 15th poorest country. Still poor, but improving…
I feel sad when i see Ethiopia is among top 10 poorest countries this is the result of our symbolic government because it is undemocratic and dictator
I hope one day GOD WILL BLESS ETHIOPIA.
I was a professor in Addis Ababa for 4 years till recently, teaching medical and graduate students. The government oppression there is overwhelming, inside as well as outside of the university. People dare not even say the word, “government.” The government has paid “informers” everywhere, including among students. There are government laws that stifle human rights and freedom of press and speech. In the universities, government party members and supporters are favoured, with mismanagement, corruption, incompetence and inexperience taking precedence over quality of qualifications, merit, experience and competency.
I don’t agree with this list, Ethiopia can’t be on top ten poorest countries.
It is. Someone pulled the wool over your eyes.
Ethiopia is https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2213afc1ab47d905f703b687caf85b6eee2893a07aa8dbdedc6f2180bd84dfd7.jpg not poor you are fooled dad https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/
it can u know well Ethiopia consists of the kindest people but maybe the poor people population is higher than the rich one.
I went there honestly adis still has old model cars in the streets maybe travel a bit nd see other countries
While Paolo has written a good article he has nonetheless rushed in assessing the main reasons responsible for the poverty state of the nation. Reasons like high population in a country or dependency on agriculture and fishing cannot by themselves be the reasons for perpetual poor state of the country. It appears he has purposely avoided mentioning high state of corruption as a significant factor contributing to the never ending poverty of the masses.
Democracy has triggered massive volumes of corruption in African countries. Ruling parties using favoured civil servants stache away funds from the national budgets to be used in the party campaigns for the next general elections.They fund campaign rallies, buy votes and pay for rigging schemes. Africans don’t vote based on quality of the candidate because the majority don’t have the assessment tools for that. Because corruption is sanctioned at the top level, it quickly flows rank and file within the whole civil structure and becomes cancerous to national development and thereby perpetuating poverty.
In Africa, under the four/five year term for a government mandate means that diverting funds away is an ongoing activity of the ruling party once in government. And because they are not sure of being voted back in government after the elections, they stache away more to pay for a good life out of government.
It’s a sad story and never ending situation for Africans especially those in the bottom five. The western world demanded democracy for these countries and ended up creating more problems and exacerbating poverty, they need to come back and help find solutions to corruption. They need to demand transparency and enforce anti corruption in these countries. They have the means and the power to do this. Democracy is fueling corruption which is fueling massive poverty.
“Double digit” speak is an epidemic used by the media and Ethiopian government to pull the wool over your eyes. I just lived in Ethiopia for 4 years. In the capital, Addis, you will see some areas of wealth and prosperity, but if you look beneath the posh hotels and malls there and beneath the beautiful trees, you will see vast areas of dilapidation and destitution. If you take a bus ride out of Addis in any direction you will see heartbreaking poverty, kilometre after kilometre. If you stop and speak to the homeless- many of them women and families- and to the street children, and to ordinary people there, you will, if you are human, weep uncontrollably. The country is beautiful and the people are generally very lovely people, but the oppression and poverty are cruel and ungodly. Take a look at a handful of the thousands of photos I took while I was there. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a923044ea4899bacc726548a91c757cb57edb8e097f2d71b0661244fe818e9b1.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/73b98c629d5c548027d5b42994acbb458eeb008fbc77e7d6f1c00975ec814736.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a8091564c5b62d9f65a151ce538aa1d80b4d0b70c9a86cb87cc0596d74e78483.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0d547cf55aa9e59d92c7b8692bc556deb7d6458b950459777b762829107f1844.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/23381ee2b81d7c5b3f586283c5cdc8ea2b27586e9fa3063d920775063be1b729.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a3b5c05eb0709c36762c02db30dae016a54806d3e280d23a60a544502aef7522.jpg
really .. wow i think people their is too friendly
Hey Frank, check out that jerk madlane’s take on why the country’s are poor.
Yet in Malawi, we have millionaires off proven corruption money! building mansions the likes of Hollywood stars’ homes and driving cars worth millions in themselves. The president is aware and so is the government. A country being raped in broad daylight by its own selfless politicians regime after regime, no patriotism or love of others.. Cry my Beloved Country.
But you have a computer so….
I do not live in Malawi, i am in UK
i like your open heart
I just dont agree with the criteria used in coming up with these lists. They measure a 50 year old country against a 100 year old country. It doesn’t add up to me. Its like expecting a 10 year child do the same things as a 20 year old child. Its impossible.
i agree with you. Really its a great point.
informative. thanks for writing this artcle
you need to add india too
fool off fool
your words says that ,
what about this idiot.
Idiot first research .This not India.
loving mother country is good
but don’t make our country to be ashamed because of your language
call your mom that.
India is among the wealthiest countries.
ha really ?
very sorry to you
sorry bro ask with your mother and father if they belong to India .I think you even don’t know who is the mother and father of you .So you say fool same word you use for your mother .We Indian know to respect other so respect us .If you not .Go away.
if you have your mom and dad
don’t make me to call them.
Ethiopia is getting rich day by day and this list is 💯% wrong. Ethiopia is best place in the world.
Ethiopia is still a poor country, but the data is completely wrong. I am Ethiopian I know everywhere. now Ethiopia is one of fastest developing country in the world. most part of Ethiopian people are wealthy but some part is not.
what did you expect from Africa lol. Black people man, they don’t know what they are doing
WOW……….what a racist jerk you are.
this list is completley wrong. the poorest country in the world is Somalia at 547$ per capita. Ethiopia has a gdp of 1,637$ per capita