poorest countries in the world ranked

Poorest countries in the world – ranked

African nations dominate the ranking of the poorest countries in the world based on the latest data from the World Bank.

We all have preconceptions about places. Take Ethiopia for example. As children of the eighties, Kia and I were only too aware of the struggles Ethiopia has faced historically: political unrest, civil war and, of course, famine. It was easy then to imagine a vast desolate dust bowl ahead of our visit in 2017. 

Ethiopia is perceived by many as a representation of wider Africa: still developing, still struggling. In reality, it is a land of lush mountains, dazzling architecture and jaw-dropping natural wonders. There is poverty, but there is also hope.

Our visit prompted us to ask if Ethiopia still ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world. Data from the World Bank shows that it ranks at number 18. Soberingly, 13 of the very poorest countries are located in Africa. The first non-African country on the list is Haiti, ranked 14th.

The World Bank is able to rank the poorest countries in the world using GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP).

The actual purchasing power of any currency is the quantity of that currency needed to buy a specified unit of a good or a basket of common goods and services. PPP is determined in each country based on its relative cost of living and inflation rates.

Therefore, using GDP PPP, it is possible to compare disparate regions and rank the poorest countries in the world. International dollars are used as a global currency for comparison.

Poorest countries in the world

The poorest countries in the world are located in Africa with Burundi, Central African Republic, the DRC, Niger and Liberia ranking as the very poorest.

The richest countries or states are Qatar, Macao, Luxembourg, Singapore and Ireland.

The World Bank does not have sufficient data for Andorra, Cuba, Liechtenstein, Monaco, North Korea, Somalia and Syria, but otherwise ranks the poorest countries in the world as below, based on 2018 data unless stated otherwise.

POORESTCOUNTRY NAMEINTERNATIONAL $
1Burundi743
2Central African Republic872
3Congo, Dem. Rep.931
4Niger1,048
5Liberia1,306
6Malawi1,309
7Mozambique1,328
8Sierra Leone1,604
9Madagascar1,634
10Gambia1,706
11Togo1,761
12Guinea-Bissau1,796
13South Sudan**1,812
14Haiti1,863
15Afghanistan1,952
16Chad1,965
17Burkina Faso1,975
18Ethiopia2,019
19Uganda2,033
20Eritrea****2,103
21Rwanda2,254
22Kiribati2,290
23Mali2,313
24Solomon Islands2,409
25Benin2420,
26Yemen, Rep.2,571
27Guinea2,630
28Djibouti****2,744
29Comoros2,828
30Zimbabwe3,024
31Nepal3,064
32Vanuatu3,202
33Lesotho3223,
34Tanzania3,227
35Sao Tome and Principe3,413
36Tajikistan3,444
37Kenya3,461
38Micronesia, Fed. Sts.3,596
39Cameroon3,771
40Senegal3,776
41Kyrgyz Republic3,878
42Tuvalu4,042
43Marshall Islands4,048
44Mauritania4,190
45Cote d'Ivoire4,200
46Zambia4,216
47Papua New Guinea4,299
48Cambodia4,354
49Bangladesh4,364
50Ghana4,738
51Sudan4,759
52Honduras5,130
53West Bank and Gaza5,148
54Nicaragua5,524
55Pakistan5,544
56Congo, Rep.5,652
57Nigeria5,980
58Tonga6,408
59Angola6,441
60Myanmar6,662
61Samoa6,850
62Uzbekistan7,020
63South Asia7,080
64Moldova7,301
65Vietnam7,435
66Lao PDR7,441
67Cabo Verde7,495
68Timor-Leste7,645
69India7,762
70Bolivia7,859
71El Salvador8,317
72Guatemala8,447
73Guyana8,569
74Morocco8,587
75Belize8,786
76Philippines8,935
77Ukraine9,233
78Jamaica9,299
79Jordan9,348
80Armenia10,325
81Bhutan10,516
82Dominica10,650
83Eswatini10,722
84Fiji11,004
85Namibia11,135
86Kosovo11,368
87Georgia11,421
88Ecuador11,714
89St. Vincent and the Grenadines12,307
90Egypt, Arab Rep.12,390
91Tunisia12,484
92Albania*12,930
93Indonesia13,057
94Lebanon13,058
95Sri Lanka13,450
96Paraguay13,571
97South Africa13,661
98Bosnia and Herzegovina*13,735
99Mongolia13,735
100St. Lucia13,887
101Peru14,393
102Colombia14,999
103Nauru15,045
104North Macedonia*15,299
105Maldives15,312
106Suriname15,498
107Algeria15,622
108Grenada15,717
109Brazil16,068
110Serbia*16,433
111Iraq17,510
112Costa Rica17,645
113Dominican Republic17,799
114Gabon17,912
115Azerbaijan18,012
116Venezuela***18,102
117China18,210
118Barbados*18,526
119Botswana18,583
120Thailand19,018
121Turkmenistan19,270
122Palau19,353
123Montenegro*19,355
124Belarus19,960
125Mexico19,969
126Argentina20,567
127Libya20,706
128Bulgaria*20,948
129Iran, Islamic Rep.*21,011
130Equatorial Guinea23,473
131Uruguay23,531
132Mauritius23,709
133Chile25,284
134Turks and Caicos Islands25,326
135Panama25,509
136Croatia*26,296
137Romania*26,595
138Antigua and Barbuda26,739
139Russian Federation27,147
140Kazakhstan27,831
141Latvia*28,362
142Turkey28,816
143Greece29,874
144Seychelles30,503
145Hungary30,979
146Bahamas*31,581
147Malaysia31,698
148St. Kitts and Nevis31,831
149Trinidad and Tobago32,228
150Poland32,357
151Lithuania*33,253
152Portugal34,065
153Slovak Republic34,329
154Estonia35,747
155Cyprus*36,155
156Slovenia38,674
157Aruba*39,455
158Puerto Rico39,471
159Czech Republic39,998
160Korea, Rep.40,479
161Israel40,786
162Spain40,855
163Oman41,435
164Malta*41,549
165New Zealand41,703
166Italy42,080
167Japan43,349
168France45,877
169United Kingdom46,240
170Bahrain47,220
171Canada47,871
172Finland48,636
173Belgium50,775
175Australia51,545
176Sweden53,120
177Germany54,327
178Saudi Arabia55,120
179Denmark56,120
180Austria56,253
181Netherlands56,772
182Iceland57,597
184United States62,641
185San Marino*63,037
186Norway63,756
187Hong Kong SAR, China64,488
188Switzerland68,943
189Cayman Islands*72,608
190Kuwait73,705
191United Arab Emirates74,943
192Brunei Darussalam80,778
193Ireland84,069
194Singapore101,353
195Luxembourg111,908
196Macao SAR, China122,435
197Qatar126,598

* 2017 data
** 2016 data
*** 2014 data
**** 2011 data

Source: World Development Indicators from the World Bank; GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP); data last updated on 10/07/19.


Lead image: Atlas & Boots

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