The Poorest Countries in the World

Donald Trump calls them “shithole countries”. The poor nations that for various reasons place themselves on the list of the world’s poorest countries.

The ranking is based on the countries’ gross domestic product (GDP) per capita adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP) through Countryaah. PPP, which stands for Purchasing Power Parity according to Abbreviationfinder, is used to compare the price difference of goods between countries. The idea is that PPP should give a better picture of the standard of living as it takes into account the cost of living and inflation in the countries.

The Poorest Countries in the World

The information is given in so-called international dollars , a hypothetical currency with the same purchasing power as the US dollar.

10. Madagascar

PPP per capita: 1,504

About 70 percent of the population of Madagascar live in poor conditions and due to deep-rooted corruption and political instability, the economic situation is chaotic.

The most important industry is agriculture and among the country’s largest exports are coffee and vanilla. Despite the World Bank’s attempts to stabilize Madagascar’s economy in the 1980s, political conflicts in the country have caused several setbacks since then.

9. Eritrea

PPP per capita: 1,321

Since the declaration of independence in 1993, Eritrea has struggled with major economic problems. The country, whose main industry is agriculture, has been hit by repeated droughts, which have hit the economic situation hard, and since 1998 it has also chosen not to receive aid from other countries.

Between 1998-2000, conflicts were raging with neighboring Ethiopia, which among other things led to food production being halved. Despite this, there is an improvement in the country’s GDP, which is largely due to a newly opened gold mine and cement production.


PPP per capita: 1,271

Guinea has Africa’s largest mineral resources. Despite this, the country is one of the poorest in the world and completely dependent on international aid. The unrest and fighting near the border areas of Sierra Leone and Liberia have created uncertainty and led to the loss of foreign investment.

7. Mozambique

PPP per capita: 1,228

Mozambique is located on the east coast of southern Africa. The country went through a war of independence from Portugal and a bloody civil war before peace was concluded in 1992. Around one million people had then lost their lives.

The country has since had relatively good economic development and political stability. Despite this, a large proportion of the residents live in great poverty.

6. Malawi

PPP per capita: 1,139

Malawi is one of the least developed countries in the world and the country has repeatedly suffered from mass starvation. It is estimated that over 90 percent of the population is dependent on agriculture, where tobacco accounts for more than half of the country’s exports.

Malawi’s economy is largely dependent on support from other countries, although since an agricultural reform in 2005 there has been an improvement in the country’s economic situation.

5. Niger

PPP per capita: 1,113

Niger consists largely of desert and semi-desert and most of the residents live in the southern parts of the country. The living conditions of the population are judged to be very poor. The economy is based on uranium exports, of which the country has some of the largest deposits in the world.

Only 30% of the population is literate, and more than half of the country’s children suffer from malnutrition. Another cause of poverty in Niger is overpopulation and drought.

4. Liberia

PPP per capita: 882

Civil war and a corrupt domestic policy have destroyed large parts of Liberia’s economic resources, affecting the country’s infrastructure in particular.

As a result of protracted civil wars, many businessmen and skilled labor have fled the country, taking with them both capital and expertise. At least 80 percent of the population lives in poverty, and today they are trying to rebuild the country after many years of oppression under the former dictator Charles Taylor.

Liberia has recently resumed its previous exports of ore and diamonds, but what the future holds for the country’s economy is still uncertain to say the least.

3. Burundi

PPP per capita: 818

Burundi is a country poor in natural resources, which also lacks a coast and has a very underdeveloped industrial sector. The country’s largest exports are coffee and tea, and it has some own production of sweet potatoes, rice and some oil deposits have been made in Lake Tanganyika.

Burundi has at times been shaken by civil war and as a result, poverty is extreme, education is low, the legal system is weak and domestic policy is severely corrupt. Only half of the children go to school and there is a great shortage of food during periods.

Despite the above problems, attempts have been made to reform the country’s economy and a small increase has been seen in the country’s GDP in recent years.

2. Democratic Republic of the Congo

PPP per capita: 784

Many years of war and corruption have dramatically worsened the economic situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, despite the country being richest in natural resources throughout Africa.

The state has high expenditures and low tax revenues, and with an ever-growing central government debt, the situation is critical. The majority of the population lives in terrible poverty and in 2001 the number of AIDS-infected people in the country amounted to as much as five percent. In addition, the infrastructure is in very poor condition and transport options are limited.

With the help of, among others, the IMF and the World Bank, measures will now be taken to try to reverse the economic development in the country.

1. Central African Republic

PPP per capita: 656

Agriculture and forestry are the main industries in the Central African Republic and the majority of the population lives on self-employed farm farming.

Diamond exports previously accounted for more than half of export revenues, but have recently been strongly affected by illegal diamond smuggling. The gaps between high- and low-income earners are enormous, largely caused by a failed economic policy.

The country’s economic growth is further hampered by poor infrastructure with substandard transport networks and unskilled labor.

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