Determining the poorest countries in the world can be a bit tricky.
Many folks use GDP per person as a measure, but it doesn’t always give the full picture.
That’s why we consider something called purchasing power parity, which takes into account how much stuff you can buy in different places.
There’s no one reason why some countries stay poor for a long time. Sometimes, bad governments can turn a rich nation into a poor one.
Other times, a history of unfair colonization, weak laws, wars, or problems with the weather can keep a country down.
It’s like a snowball effect: if a country owes a lot of money, it can’t spend much on good schools. And when people don’t get a good education, it limits what the country can do.
Note: The world possesses sufficient wealth and resources to guarantee a decent standard of living for the entire human race.
However, due to the aforementioned reasons, these countries are forced to compete for the unfortunate title of the poorest countries in the world.
1. South Sudan – (GDP: $3.9 billion Population: 11,204,916)
South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, it did achieve its independence in 2011.
However, it confronts substantial economic challenges, as political instability, ongoing conflicts, and limited infrastructure impede its progress.
The majority of its population depends on traditional agriculture, but violence and extreme climate events frequently disrupt farming, thereby perpetuating poverty in this landlocked nation.
2. Burundi – (GDP: $3.4 billion Population: 13,369,272)
Burundi, a small country in East Africa with no access to the sea, deals with big problems like political troubles, fights, and not having enough roads and buildings.
These issues make life tough for the people there. Also, the population is growing really fast, which makes things even harder.
About 80 percent of the folks in Burundi depend on farming just to eat, so they often don’t have enough food, and this is worse than in many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
3. Central African Republic – (GDP: $2.2 billion Population: 5,757,091)
Poorest Countries In The World
The Central African Republic , located in Central Africa, faces significant economic problems because of political issues, wars, and not having enough roads and buildings.
Even though the country has valuable things like gold, oil, uranium, and diamonds, many people here are very poor.
On top of that, prices for important stuff went up after the war in Ukraine, and there have been bad floods and droughts, which made things even worse for the CAR’s economy.
4. Somalia – GDP: $7.5 (billion Population: 18,100,000)
Located in the Horn of Africa, Somalia has suffered from years of political instability, armed conflicts, and humanitarian crises.
The country’s progress has been hampered by the lack of a functioning central government, limited infrastructure, and widespread poverty.
5. Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – (GDP: $42.6 billion Population: 102,553,019)
The Democratic Republic of Congo, known as the DRC, is the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Despite its wealth in natural resources such as cobalt and copper, the DRC grapples with significant economic challenges.
A majority of its population lives in poverty, with approximately 62 percent of Congolese people earning less than $2.15 a day.
This poverty is worsened by issues like malnutrition, lack of access to education and healthcare, and high fertility rates, which further hinder the country’s development.
6. Mozambique – (GDP: $3.3 billion Population: 33,980,890)
Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony abundant in resources and with a low population density, experiences poverty due to natural disasters;
- rapid population growth,
- low agricultural productivity,
- wealth inequality.
Despite having valuable resources and experiencing robust GDP growth, the country still ranks among the world’s poorest.
This situation is made worse by attacks from Islamic insurgent groups in the gas-rich north.
7. Niger – (GDP: $9.2 billion Population: 27,291,636)
Niger, a landlocked country in West Africa, encounters economic challenges and experiences high poverty rates because it has limited natural resources, often suffers from droughts, and mostly relies on agriculture.
With the Sahara Desert covering 80 percent of its land and a growing population depending on small-scale farming, the threat of desertification looms large.
8. Malawi – (GDP: $6.9 billion Population: 21,039,999)
Malawi, situated in southeastern Africa and blessed with beautiful landscapes, faces substantial economic challenges.
The country heavily depends on rain-fed agriculture, making it susceptible to the impacts of climate change and fluctuating commodity prices.
Nevertheless, the government is steadfast in its commitment to fostering economic diversification, enhancing education and healthcare, and alleviating poverty.
9. Chad – (GDP: $10.9 billion Population: 18,327,841)
Chad, situated in Africa, confronts substantial economic challenges and experiences high poverty rates despite possessing substantial oil reserves.
The country’s heavy reliance on rain-fed agriculture exposes it to weather-related shocks and leads to widespread food insecurity.
Reports of human rights abuses and crackdowns on political opposition and dissent have raised concerns about democratic principles of Chad as a nation.
10. Liberia – (GDP: $10.9 billion Population: 5,428,692)
Liberia’s persistent poverty results from violent conflicts, including civil wars and outbreaks like Ebola, which have resulted in unstable infrastructure and limited services.
Forced migration disrupts agriculture, leading to food insecurity.
International organizations such as the World Food Program work to alleviate poverty and enhance the country’s future by focusing on sustainable development efforts and investments in education.
Three countries in our list are situated in or are part of Africa’s Sahel region, where ongoing droughts lead to food shortages and give rise to associated medical and social issues.
Furthermore, five of these nations are landlocked, placing them at a significant disadvantage compared to those with access to maritime trade.
Additionally, they all face political instability, have witnessed disputed elections, ethnic or religious conflicts, and exhibit poor performance in our ranking of the world’s safest countries.