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Top 10 Poorest Countries in the World

by Jimmy
10 poorest countries in the world

Even with globalization there seem to be a clear divide between rich and poor nation. It is interesting to note that the Gulf, Europe and the America dominate the rich nations list. On the other tail are the poor nations and unfortunately most of the countries in this list are from Africa. To better understand how a nation’s wealth stature is determined it is important to look into Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

GDP is the estimation of the size of a country’s economy – purchasing power. It is further refined into GDP per capita which is the average measure of the affluence of a country’s resident. These cannot clearly distinguish the wealth of a country in comparison to another hence GDP (PPP) – Purchasing Power Parity per capita. GDP (PPP) per capita takes into account inflation rates and the cost of living for a particular country. Because different countries use varied currencies, GDP (PPP) uses a standard currency – the international Dollar.

10. Afghanistan

Afghanistan poor country

This Middle East county has seen unending conflict within and from outside its border. It is ruled by tribal factions who are constantly at war with each other. The lack of political stability has scared all foreign investors. Gender inequality and illiteracy are also rampant among the population.

9. Madagascar

Madagascar Poor Country

The mainstay of Madagascar is tourism followed by agriculture. However, since the country started experiencing political instability tourism has been largely affected. As the major industry in the country any slowdown means lots of job losses and lower quality of lives for its citizens.

8. Niger


Niger is a small Sub Saharan country with 80% of its land squarely in the Sahara desert – this rules out agriculture. Added to this Niger is not a shining example of democracy. It also has a host of social issues such as gender inequality and illiteracy.

7. Sierra Leone


Sierra Leone is endowed with lots of minerals – gold, diamond, bauxite and titanium. Even though it is rich in minerals the proceeds from this industry go to few individuals and to funding civil wars.

6. Central African Republic

Central African Republic Unrest

This country if fortunate enough to have numerous resources. It has arable land for agriculture and mineral deposits – uranium, gold and crude oil. However the country has experienced lots of tribal and civil wars. In addition it is also plagued with the AIDS calamity and other tropical diseases.

5. Eritrea

This is a small coastal country. It was formerly a province of Ethiopia however, they went for cessation and now it’s a sovereign country. Its economy is driven by the proceeds from the Suez Canal. With no other major industry this is not enough to sustain its growing population.

4. Burundi


Burundi is a landlocked East African country. It does not have any major mineral deposits. Burundi has seen its fair share of tribal and civil wars. This lack of political stability keeps away foreign investors. Furthermore, Burundi has high level of illiteracy among its population. The AIDS pandemic has not also spared this small country.

3. Zimbabwe


This country has one of the highest inflation rates in the entire globe. This is evident in their high denomination currencies. The political wing is not friendly keeping foreign investors at bay. Zimbabwe also has a low life expectancy level. Its Health sector is heavily weighed down by AIDS and other diseases.

2. Liberia


This country was never colonized during the scramble for Africa. In fact it was formed by freed slaves. However, since its formation it has not seen true peace. It has been dodged with numerous civil wars. During its formative years Liberia saw government toppled in disruptive coups. The effects of this still linger in the economy.

1. Congo


Formerly Zaire, Congo is the poorest country in the world. This is despite its rich mineral deposits of gold. Congo’s economy was affected by the Second World War and since then it has never recovered. Its political landscape is equally shaky and has witnessed lots of gruesome coups. In addition the country has and continues to experience civil and tribal conflicts. Foreign investment is almost nil in Congo.

As is evident in this list most of the countries have the resources to pull up their economy however because of one reason or another exploitation of the same is limited or results in conflicts.

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