In 2019, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) published a list with the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita of each country, taking into account the population’s purchasing power parity. It is the latest report of its kind published by the IMF.

This means that the comparison is made as if all countries have the same currency and products and services also cost the same in each country.


Below are the 20 poorest countries in the world:

20. Guinea (Africa)

GDP per Capita: $ 1,271

HDI: 0.466

Rich in minerals such as diamond, gold, uranium, iron ore, but mainly bauxite, Guinea is the source of a third of the reserves of this mineral in the world. Due to favorable climatic conditions, Guinea has demonstrated great potential for large-scale agribusiness. Despite this, in Guinea, wages are low, most jobs are informal and the workforce is poorly qualified. A small part of the GDP is due to industrial activity.

19. Solomon Islands (Oceania)

GDP per Capita: $ 2,300

HDI: 0.557

Solomon Islands

The Solomon Islands consist of more than 900 volcanic islands located in the South Pacific. Independent of Great Britain since 1978, today the Solomon Islands live under parliamentary regime. The main economic activities are agriculture, fishing and mining.

18. Yemen (Middle East)

GDP per Capita: $ 2,280

HDI: 0.463


Wars inevitably come accompanied by poverty, hunger, unemployment. The Yemeni Civil War started in 2015 and opposes the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels, representatives of the Shiite Islamic. It is estimated that tens of thousands of people have already died as a result of the war or the famine that is plaguing the country. It is currently the biggest humanitarian crisis on the planet.

17. Kiribati (Oceania)

GDP per Capita: $ 2,140

HDI: 0.623

Kiribati - Oceania

Comprising several islands in the Pacific Ocean, Kiribati is located between Micronesia and Polynesia and is the only country located in the four hemispheres of the Earth. Despite the various islands, it is one of the smallest countries in existence. The economy is based mainly on agriculture and fishing.

16. Afghanistan (Middle East)

GDP per Capita: $ 2,090

HDI: 0.496

Afghanistan - poorest country in the middle east

At war since 2001, when George W. Bush’s the United States started the so-called “War on Terror”, Afghanistan still does not know when it will live more peaceful days, as the government of the country is unable to establish a peace agreement with the Taliban. The scenario of political instability is accompanied by the flight of investors and dramatic unemployment, which has plagued the country for years.

15. Burkina Faso (Africa)

GDP per Capita: $ 2,080

HDI: 0.434

Burkina Faso means “the land of upright people”, combining two words from the main dialects spoken in the region, the more and the diúla. About 32% of GDP comes from Agriculture, which is the occupation of 80% of the economically active population. Social problems are serious in Burkina Faso, which has the 8th worst HDI among the 189 countries analyzed by the UN.

14. Guinea Bissau (Africa)

GDP per Capita: $ 2,200

HDI: 0.461

Since its independence, in 1974, Guinea-Bissau has been experiencing political instability that reflects in all areas of the country, severely hampering its development. No president-elect has completed the 5-year term. The country only began to show economic advances after a stability pact was signed between the main political parties.

13. Haiti (Central America)

GDP per Capita: $ 1,880

HDI: 0.503

Haiti - Poorest countries in the world
Photo: Hector Retamal

It is the only country in the world that became independent after a slave revolution. Haiti suffered a major earthquake in 2010 that left the country devastated and caused its GDP by purchasing power parity to drop 8%. But even before the earthquake, 80% of the population lived below the poverty line.

12. Togo (Africa)

GDP per Capita: $ 1,830

HDI: 0.513

Living mainly on cotton and sugar cane cultivation, Togo is one of the African countries on the Atlantic coast. It is also an important center of regional trade due to the strategic position of the port of its capital, Lomé.

11. Madagascar (Africa)

GDP per Capita: $ 1,700

HDI: 0.521

Madagascar is made up of the largest island on the African continent and other smaller islands. It is considered one of the main biodiversity points on the planet. More than 90% of its wild nature exists exclusively there. The rapid growth of the human population is the main threat to the preservation of the country’s nature.

Read Also: Impoverish Countries In The Western Hemisphere

10. Sierra Leone (Africa)

GDP per Capita: $ 1,690

HDI: 0.438

Despite being one of the countries with the greatest extractive activity and being rich in minerals such as diamond, iron, bauxite and platinum, Sierra Leone is on this list of the poorest countries in the world. The extractions are managed by foreign companies and the population works mainly in rice farming.

9. South Sudan (Africa)

GDP per Capita: $ 1,670

HDI: 0.413

Having become an independent state on July 9, 2011, South Sudan is a super young country. The result of a long civil war, the country is going through a major humanitarian crisis. Even with the end of the war, there are still many ethnic conflicts and militias at work. One of the biggest social problems to be overcome by Sudan is illiteracy, which reaches more than 70% of the population over 15 years old. It is the 4th worst HDI in the world.

8. Liberia (Africa)

GDP per Capita: $ 1,410

HDI: 0.465

Liberia - poorest countries of the world
Photo: Carly Learson

Founded as a colony for freed ex-slaves from the United States, the name Liberia means “freedom”. Its economy is essentially agricultural, with coffee and cocoa being the main exported products. In 2010, it was considered the most corrupt country in the world by the non-governmental organization Transparency International.

7. Mozambique (Africa)

GDP per Capita: $ 1,300

HDI: 0.446

Very rich in natural resources, Mozambique experienced strong growth in the industrial sector with the manufacture of chemicals, aluminum, oil, beverages and food. However, income inequality is very large and this growth is not reflected in GDP per capita or in the country’s HDI.

6. Malawi (Africa)

GDP per Capita: $ 1,240

HDI: 0.485

Malawi - poorest countries in the world

The former English colony’s main economic activities are agriculture and tourism. During the 2000s, a pro-Western foreign policy was adopted that strengthened the country’s relations with the United States. In 2005 it was considered the poorest country in the world by the IMF, but its economy has improved, moving away from this position.

5. Niger (Africa)

GDP per Capita: $ 1,110

HDI: 0.377

Niger - poorest countries of the world

Niger is the largest country in West Africa and has most of its territory occupied by the Sahara desert. It is one of the warmest countries in the world. Its economy is predominantly agricultural and a large part of its population lives in rural areas. The extremely low HDI of Niger stands out, the most terrible of the 189 countries analyzed by the UN.

4. Eritrea (Africa)

GDP per Capita: $ 1,060

HDI: 0.434

Eritrea - poorest countries of the world

Bathed by the Red Sea to the east and northeast, Eritrea experienced many invasions and spent a long period of war against Ethiopia. All of this caused great damage to the country’s development, which currently survives essentially from subsistence agriculture.

Read also: The 30 Most Populated Cities In The World

3. Democratic Republic of Congo (Africa)

GDP per Capita: $ 849.13

HDI: 0.459

Photo: newschoolthoughtsonafrica

The third poorest country in the world is also the second richest in biodiversity, behind Brazil. Located in Central Africa, it is one of the largest on the continent and the largest country to have French as an official language. Bigger even than France. The country’s main economic activity is mining.

2. Central African Republic (Africa)

GDP per Capita: $ 822.55

HDI: 0.381

Photo: UNHCR S. Phelps

Despite being a country rich in natural and mineral resources, such as gold, diamonds, oil, uranium and great potential for hydroelectric power generation, the Central African Republic is the second poorest country in the world and has the 2nd worst HDI among all countries analyzed by the UN. Much of this is due to the fact that the nation is constantly living in civil war.

1. Burundi (Africa)

GDP per Capita: $ 727.17

HDI: 0.423

Source: World Relief

Burundi is the first on our list of the poorest countries in the world, the country is a major exporter of bananas and coffee, Burundi has more than 90% of its population working in subsistence agriculture. The small country, where the source of the River Nile is located, does not have a great diversity of natural resources and has a weakly developed industrial sector. In addition to these difficulties, the country suffers constant reflexes of ethnic conflicts in neighboring countries Uganda and Rwanda. Burundi is considered to be the poorest country in the world.




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