The 25 Poorest Countries in the World

A list of the poorest countries in the world by annual GDP and GDP per capita.

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They say that money and does not give happiness, and certainly economic wealth does not necessarily predict the level of satisfaction and well-being of the user. However, it is necessary to maintain a certain economic level to keep our basic needs met.

The same thing happens when we talk about a country: having money does not mean that it is well distributed, but it allows to be able to manage basic services and goods to guarantee the welfare of citizens.

Although some countries have great wealth and economic wealth, there are many others that suffer severe shortages, to the point that most of its population is impoverished, have difficult access to food and water and sometimes have socio-sanitary difficulties and humanitarian. Throughout this article, we will briefly review the 25 poorest countries in the world.

The poorest countries in the world based on GDP

One of the most common ways to assess the level of wealth of a country is the use of indices such as the Gross Domestic Product or GDP, which refers to the total amount of capital that a country has produced throughout the year. Based on this index and the data collected by the International Monetary Fund or IMF (taken between 2017 and 2018), we can consider that the 25 poorest countries are the following.

1. Tuvalu (€ 35M)

According to IMF data, Tuvalu is the country with the lowest GDP among those registered. The old Ellice Islands are since 74 one of the countries that are part of Polynesia.

Despite its beauty, this territory is poor and not very fertile, and its inhabitants have no drinking water. It is located at such a low height with respect to the sea that its inhabitants have had to be evacuated frequently due to the elevation of the water level.

2. Nauru (€ 101M)

Part of the Micronesia, Nauru is a republic that is constituted within a single island and that turns out to be the second of the countries with lower registered GDP. In the past, when the island exploited the extraction of phosphates, it became a country with a level of development close to that of the so-called first world, but over time it has entered into an economic recession.

3. Kiribati (€ 165M)

Formed by the island of Banaba and various coral atolls, this country is also part of Oceania. With a life expectancy of about 60 years, its inhabitants have to face a great lack of natural resources in their territory. Kiribati is in third position with regard to the poorest countries in the world in terms of GDP.

4. Marshall Islands (€ 184M)

Among the territories that are part of Micronesia we can find the Marshall Islands, one of the countries with the greatest poverty and lack of economic resources.

5. Palau (€ 275M)

The third of the Micronesian countries that appear on this list, Palau is a republic whose GDP is the fifth lowest of those registered by the IMF.

6. Federated States of Micronesia (€ 321M)

The fourth and last of the countries that make up Micronesia is called Federated States of Micronesia, and is also one of the poorest. They depend to a large extent on external international assistance.

7. Sao Tome and Principe (€ 348M)

Former Portuguese colony, São Tomé and Príncipe are part of the African territory and is made up of several islands of the archipelago of the Gulf of Guinea. And with an annual GDP of 348 M €, it is one of the poorest countries in which we have registered.

8. Tonga (€ 403M)

The Kingdom of Tonga can be found in Oceania, and is made up of almost two hundred islands. Economically it depends on agriculture and tourism, and it is the eighth country with the lowest annual GDP.

9. Dominica (€ 440M)

This country and island is one of the poorest in terms of annual GDP. One of the Barlovento islands is an important part of the Caribbean and depends to a large extent on the banana industry.

10. Comoros (€ 574M)

In South-East Africa, the Union of the Comoros is a country made up of several islands. It is one of the poorest countries in all of Africa.

11. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (695M €)

To the north of Venezuela, this island country whose most relevant island is San Vicente and has an economy focused on the banana industry and the sale of stamps. Their economic situation fluctuates greatly due to seasonal changes.

12. Samoa (€ 744M)

The Polynesian island country with agriculture as the main economic engine, depends to a certain extent on external support to maintain itself, although changes in its financial policies have allowed its economic situation to improve.

13. Vanuatu (€ 779M)

Located on the Pacific and to the east of Australia, Vanuatu is a country whose main economic engine is agriculture, although of subsistence. This tax haven also has one of the lowest annual GDP.

14. Saint Kitts and Nevis (€ 878M)

Island country located in the Caribbean, the fourteenth member of this list obtained an annual GDP of about 878M €.

15. Granada (€ 998M)

The island of Granada is part of the Antilles, and is an island country whose main source of resources are tourism, construction and trade.

16. Solomon Islands (€ 1,154M)

Part of the oceanic Melanesia, the Solomon Islands form a country whose annual GDP is among the lowest in the world.

17. Guinea-Bissau (€ 1,195M)

The Republic of Guinea-Bissau is an island country limited to Senegal whose economy is one of survival, centered on agriculture and livestock. The timber industry is also relevant, due to the large percentage of forests in its territory.

18. Seychelles (€ 1,326 M)

The Seychelles islands form an island country. Despite being part of the countries with the lowest annual GDP, its economy has grown in recent times and in fact has one of the highest human development indexes in Africa. Even so, the country, northeast of Madagascar, presents a significant public debt and the majority of the population is in a situation of poverty.

19. Antigua and Barbuda (€ 1,342M)

Another island country, which in this case is part of the Caribbean, has tourism as the main economic engine.

20. Gambia (€ 1,369M)

The Republic of the Gambia is one of the first non-island territories, but continental from this list. Located in the western part of Africa and surrounded by Senegal, its economy is based mainly on agriculture and livestock for subsistence, but also exports of different products.

21. San Marino (€ 1.499M)

In European territory and specifically located in Italy, San Marino is the only one of the countries on this list of that continent. Tourism is one of the most relevant engines at the economic level. Despite this, its GDP is one of the lowest in the past year.

22. Cape Verde (€ 1,572M)

African island country and close to Dakar, this country suffers from lack of natural resources and frequent problems derived from natural disasters. Tourism and services are some of the main economic drivers, and its position makes it a strategic point for trade.

23. Saint Lucia (€ 1,602M)

Saint Lucia is an island country located in the Caribbean Sea. Its economy is based on the banana industry, although other sectors such as tourism have also become increasingly important.

24. Belize (€ 1,649M)

In the northeast of Central America and surrounded by Mexico and Guatemala, Belize is a country whose public debt is very high. Agriculture (especially sugar) and tourism are some of the main economic areas of the country.

25. Central African Republic (€ 1,726M)

The Central African Republic is another of the few non-island countries on this list. The main economic drivers of the place are the wood and mining sector. Its frequent armed and armed conflicts are one of several factors that cause its economy not to take off.

The countries with the lowest GDP per capita

Although GDP can be an index that tells us about the amount of capital that a country enjoys and produces, this does not imply that this wealth is better or worse distributed.

In this sense, a more representative index than annual GDP is GDP per capita, the ratio between the country’s GDP with each of its inhabitants: that is, the amount of capital and income that would correspond to a citizen of an average. concrete country.

Taking into account this index, the countries that have less capital and produce and in which the distribution of wealth is also unequal (often relegating a large part of the population to extreme poverty) are the following.

1. South Sudan (€ 208)

The country with the lowest GDP per capita of those valued by the IMF is South Sudan, where a citizen can collect an average of 208 euros over a year. This African country is one of the poorest countries in the world, despite having large deposits of natural resources.

2. Burundi (€ 258)

This African country is the second country with a lower GDP per capita and one of the poorest. This country, one of the few whose history goes back to times as early as the sixteenth century, suffers serious problems such as a high presence of the human immunodeficiency virus, an inefficient judicial system and a high level of famine. At an economic level, it depends on external aid.

3. Malawi (€ 300)

The third poorest country in the world is Malawi, which in 2017 registered a GDP per capita of only € 300 per year. As in the two previous cases, its population has a short life expectancy and high mortality. Also AIDS is highly widespread, as are numerous armed and war conflicts. It is one of the countries with the highest population density, and its economy is based on agriculture and external aid (although corruption has been observed when distributing it).

4. Niger (335 €)

Agriculture, livestock and mining are some of the main economic engines of Niger, which has a per capita GDP of € 335 per year. This country has suffered numerous wars and coups throughout its history, and is considered one of the poorest countries in the world.

5. Central African Republic (€ 370)

Although a few years ago it was considered the poorest country in the world, the Central African Republic not only has one of the lowest GDP per capita but also one of the lowest annual GDP in the world.

Despite having a large amount of natural resources, the presence of major recurring conflicts in this country makes it difficult to improve their economic and social situation.

6. Mozambique (€ 376)

Mozambique had between 2017 and 2018 a GDP per capita of 376 euros. This country has also been besieged by serious conflicts, and its population also has difficulties to eat.

Mortality is high and life expectancy is short. Its economy is basically subsistence and based on agriculture.

7. Madagascar (€ 398)

An island located east of Mozambique and other neighboring countries we find Madagascar, another of the countries with the lowest GDP per capita. The country experienced severe political crises in the past. Its economy is based on agriculture (highlights the cinnamon and coffee). Its living conditions and life expectancy of its inhabitants are above those cited so far, reaching 60 years of age.

8. Somalia (€ 423)

Somalia is one of the best-known African countries with the highest level of poverty. It is a country that is organized as a federal republic, although throughout history it has not presented a joint and stable government, something that has made it difficult to manage and improve the economy.

9. Democratic Republic of the Congo (€ 444)

This African country also has a high level of poverty, being one of the poorest (having become the country with the highest level of poverty). With a high percentage of famine and one of the lowest human development indexes, besides having suffered different conflicts, its main economic engine is mining.

10. Sierra Leone (€ 448)

Founded by freed slaves and known in recent years for having been ravaged by the relatively recent Ebola epidemic, Sierra Leone is a country with a really low GDP per capita of € 448.

With a very unevenly distributed wealth, it was named one of the countries with the highest level of poverty. Diseases and famine are frequent, as is the dependence on humanitarian aid from the population to survive.

11. Afghanistan (€ 504)

Afghanistan is another country with a more precarious economic situation. With a GDP of € 504 and the presence of a large number of wars and conflicts taking place in their territory, life for civilians is not easy. The main economic engine is agriculture and mining, including its multiple oil fields.

12. Togo (€ 540)

Togo is a little known country that is between Ghana and Benin. Its economy is based on agriculture, although it also has deposits of iron and other minerals as well as agricultural activity. However, it is mainly subsistence.

13. Uganda (€ 546)

Uganda is another case of countries that despite having a large amount of natural resources are impoverished and without means. With serious warlike conflicts and situations of corruption, together with the country’s serious indebtedness, they make survival difficult.

14. Burkina Faso (€ 570)

With a high population and hardly arable land, this country is one of the poorest in the world. Despite the difficulty of using land for agriculture, this sector is one of the most important in its economy. However, they need humanitarian and international assistance.

15. Chad (€ 588)

This African country has a GDP per capita of € 588, and more than 80% of the country lives below the poverty line. Subsistence agriculture and livestock are its most frequent economic activities.

16. North Korea (€ 603)

Despite its secrecy and high budget dedicated to the military, North Korea has one of the lowest GDP per capita in the world. In addition, the totalitarian regime that governs it, its isolation and the imposed blockages make it difficult to help improve the situation of the population.

17. Liberia (€ 614)

Limiting Sierra Leone, Liberia shares with that country the fact that it is one of the poorest countries with the worst GDP per capita. Mining is one of the economic engines of this country, often exercised in subhuman conditions.

18. Ethiopia (€ 639)

This African country, with a GDP per capita of € 639, bases its economy on agriculture and mining, as well as aid from other countries.

19. The Gambia (€ 651)

Gambia, in addition to a GDP per capita among the lowest, also has a gross GDP that is also among the most impoverished. As we have seen previously, agriculture and livestock are its main economic activities. It depends to a large extent on international support to maintain itself.

20. Rwanda (€ 663)

Although in recent times it is getting better, Rwanda is a country with a low per capita GDP of € 663. The aftermath of the wars and genocide lived in the country are still valid, with which the economic capacity of the country is low. Subsistence agriculture and tourism are some of the most common economic activities.

21. Guinea-Bissau (€ 703)

Once again one of the countries in which it coindits that both gross GDP and GDP per capita are among the lowest in the world, Guinea-Bissau has as main economic engines agriculture and livestock, as well as the wood industry.

22. Comoros (€ 706)

This island state, with a high level of unemployment and highly dependent on international aid, has as main economic activities the forestry or use and management of forests (both wood and other materials), tourism and agriculture (although this last is usually subsistence).

23. Tajikistan (€ 709)

Located in Asia and northern Afghanistan, Tajikistan is one of the poorest countries in the Asian continent, at least in terms of GDP per capita. With more than half of the population below the poverty line and with a high unemployment rate, cotton and aluminum are some of the products with which they can make the most money.

24. Guinea (€ 729)

Agriculture is the majority activity in this country. They also have large mineral resources that can be exploited. However, Guinea relies heavily on external aid to survive.

25. Benin (€ 732)

Located in Africa, the Republic of Benin is the last of the 25 poorest countries in the world if we take into account GDP per capita as an index to analyze it. It is a country rich in resources, but whose economic activity is based on subsistence agriculture.