A country with a GDP per capita of $765 dollars or less is defined as a low-income or poor country. You may wonder why poor countries remain poor. Some interrelated factors like geography, industrialization, colonialism, education, resources, infrastructure, overpopulation, investment, government and debt make poor countries remain the heavy foot of poverty.
Look into the fragile features of the ten poorest countries of the world.
10. Ethiopia (GDP – per capita: $700)
Ethiopia ranks 170 out of 177 the poorest countries on the Human Development Index (UNDP HDI 2006). Half of its GDP depends on agricultural activity. The agricultural sector suffers lowdown because of poor cultivation techniques and frequent drought. 50% of its population 74.7 million bears the burden of poverty and 80% lives on bread line. 47% of males and 31% of females are literate. Some parts of Ethiopia run a high risk of hepatitis A, hepatitis E, typhoid fever, malaria, rabies, meningococcal meningitis and schistosomiasis.
09. Niger (GDP – per capita: $700)
Niger with a population of 12.5 million is one of the ten poorest countries in the world. Drought is a common natural calamity in Niger. It often undergoes a phase of severe food crisis. 63% of its total population lives on below $1 a day. Adult literacy rate is as low as 15%. Life expectancy spans up to 46 years. A number of people die of hepatitis A, diarrhea, malaria, meningococcal meningitis and typhoid fever.
08. Central African Republic (GDP – per capita: $700)
The Central African Republic ranks 171 as a poor country. Agriculture is the backbone of its unstable economy. Life expectancy of its meager population 4.3 ranges from 43.46 to 43.62 years. 13.5% of its population is at risk of AIDS.
07. Guinea-Bissau (GDP – per capita: $600)
The rank of Guinea Bissau as a poor country is 172. Farming and fishing are the only pillars of its economy. The level of income is not even in all parts of the country. About 10% of its adult population is at risk of HIV.
06. Union of the Comoros (GDP – per capita: $600)
Population growth and unemployment at a high rate are responsible for the poor economy of Union of the Comoros. Population density at a rate of 1000 per square km in agriculture zones may result in an environmental crisis. Agricultural contribution to its GDP is 40%. The low level of education has raised the level of labor force. Economy mainly depends on foreign grants.
05. Republic of Somalia (GDP – per capita: $600)
Agriculture is the base of the economy of Republic of Somalia in the Horn of Africa. Nomads and semi-nomads comprise a major part of the population. Rearing livestock is the primary source of livelihood for them. The small agricultural industry contributes 10% to its GDP.
04. The Solomon Islands (GDP – per capita: $600)
The Solomon Islands is a country in Melanesia. Fishing holds its domestic economy. Above 75% of the labor class, is involved in fishing. Timber was the main product for export until 1998. Palm oil and copra are important cash crops for export. The Solomon Islands are rich in mineral resources like zinc, lead, gold and nickel.
03. Republic of Zimbabwe (GDP – per capita: $500)
Republic of Zimbabwe is located between the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers in the south of Africa. Its economy suffers a slowdown due to supply shortage, soaring inflation and foreign exchange shortage. Zimbabwe’s involvement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo left its economy fragile. The worst consequence of the knelt-down economy is unemployment that is as high as 80%.
02. Republic of Liberia (GDP – per capita: $500)
Republic of Liberia on the west coast of Africa is one of the ten poorest economies across the globe. A decline in the export of commodities, the flight of many investors from the country, the unjust exploitation of the country’s diamond resource, looting and war profiteering during the civil war in 1990 brought the economy of the country to its knees. External debt of the country is more than its GDP.
01. Republic of the Congo (GDP – per capita: $300)
Republic of the Congo in Central Africa is the last at the bottom of the economic heaps. Depreciation of Franc Zone currencies, incredibly high levels of inflation in 1994, eruption of the civil war, and continuation of armed conflict and slumping oil price in 1998 broke down the economy of the country.
GDP – per capita (PPP) 2008 Country Ranks
SOURCE: CIA World Factbook 2008