As much as we wish we could change the world and make it a better place, there are still some of our fellow humans who live in precarious situations all over the globe. By definition, it is known that there are around 195 countries in the world, and some of these countries are poor, while others are extremely poor.
There are several factors that determine whether a country is poor or not. Corruption is one of them. Some countries on our planet have, or used to have, what it takes to become rich, however, their governments are highly corrupt and don’t manage the nations properly.
Another factor that endangers a country’s economic situation is war. A country that is affected by civil war is left devastated and has to recover from the crumbles once the war is over. Life expectancy, employment rates, crime rates, and schooling are all directly affected by the economy.
List of Poorest Countries in the World
Out of all 189 countries that are measured by the Human Development Report, Mozambique ranked 180 in the Human Development Index (HDI) ranking, meaning that Mozambique is one of the poorest in the world.
Mozambique was home to a decade-long civil war that has left nothing but devastation behind. On top of that, this African country is very rich in natural resources, but it doesn’t seem to move forward economically due to bad administration and also because of natural disasters that ruin the country, such as floods and cyclones.
The life expectancy in Mozambique is only 60,2 years, and while the expected years of schooling in the country is 9,7 years, the mean years of schooling in this country is barely 4 years. This is reflected on the fact that almost half of the population is illiterate.
This African country is one of the poorest nations in the world due to factors that include natural disasters and also hunger. Another fact is the high birth rate. In fact, Niger is considered as the country with the highest birth rate in the world, though it is estimated that one in every four children dies in Niger before turning five years old.
On top of that, there is a very dangerous terrorist group in this region called Boko Haram, whose terror campaign disrupts the country’s already unstable economy.
Niger’s GDP in 2017 was only 8 billion USD, approximately. For a population of over 21 million people, the GDP per capita is less than 1,000 USD, which places this country in a high position on our list.
Although this African country is really vast and sparsely populated, Mauritania is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of only 5 billion USD, approximately.
The GDP per capita in Mauritania was approximately 1,100 USD in 2017, which is dangerously low, if compared to a well-developed country such as Qatar, which has a smaller population but the GDP per capita is more than 120,000 USD.
Corruption is one of the main causes of poverty in Mauritania, but so is the geographic disposition of the country. Mauritania is located in a deserted area and has experienced draughts that lasted for over 15 years.
Afghanistan is among the countries that receive most international attention and aid. However, it is still one of the poorest countries in the world, with almost half of its population living in poverty, and, unfortunately, it seems that this number is only rising.
There are several factors that have made this country so poor. First, there are natural disasters which happen in this territory that the general infrastructure of the country simply cannot handle. There is also a lot of political instability and internal conflict taking place in Afghanistan, which hinder the country’s economy of improving.
The GDP in this country was a little over 20 billion USD. When distributed between the population of around 35 million people, this number equals a GDP per capita of only 585,00 USD, which is significantly lower than even Mozambique.
5. Solomon Islands
With a population of a little over 610,000 people, the Solomon Islands are one of the poorest countries in the world. Composed of six different islands, this country is just east of Australia and relies heavily on agricultural industries; in fact, more than half of the population is rural.
The Solomon Islands have a GDP of around 1,3 billion USD, which equals a GDP per capita of only 2,132 USD. There are a few causes as to why this country is poor, including its location, which makes it harder for people to transport goods, as it can be quite expensive, and the fact that almost half of the country’s youth is unemployed.
6. Central African Republic
The Central African Republic is one of the poorest countries on the planet. This landlocked country is also surrounded by other poor countries, and has a population of approximately 4,6 million people.
With a GDP of less than 2 billion USD, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Central African Republic is only around 418 USD, the lowest in our list so far. This places the Central African Republic really high in the list of poorest countries in the world!
With a life expectancy of only 52,17 years, this country has been considered the poorest country in the world, and there are quite a few reasons for that. Unfortunately, the Central African Republic has dealt with dictatorships, government corruption, militia groups, and extreme violence.
Located in South Asian, Bangladesh is considered one of the poorest in the world, even though its GDP is by far the highest on our list, at approximately 249 billion USD. However, its population is proportionally high, at 164 million. The GDP per capita in Bangladesh is a little over 1,500 USD.
Perhaps, that is one of the reasons why Bangladesh remains so poor. Another factor that makes this country be considered poor is the fact that it had a difficult beginning and has struggled to establish itself as a country ever since it gained independence in 1971.
The first and only South American country to make it into our list is Honduras. Although its population is pretty small — there are only 9,3 million people living in this country —, Honduras has faced quite a lot in terms of trying to improve its economy, and more than half of the population lives in poverty.
Poverty is caused by a mix of several different factors. In Honduras, however, extreme violence and the population’s lack of education contribute heavily to the country’s economic status. On top of that, there aren’t enough jobs available in the country, as the economy doesn’t seem to grow fast enough to accommodate Honduras’ population.
Unfortunately, the reality of our society is that most countries are considered poor. Money is heavily concentrated within a few developed countries, while underdeveloped countries struggle to fend for themselves.
Poverty leads to a lower life expectancy of the population, as well as a lower level of education, a higher crime rate, and a lack of jobs.
I hope that this article on the poorest countries in the world was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Country Rankings Page!