poorest countries in the world ranked

Poorest countries in the world – ranked

Africa dominates the ranking of the poorest countries in the world based on the latest data from the World Bank.

Last year, we spent a month travelling through Ethiopia. Growing up in the eighties, we were only too aware of the struggles Ethiopia had faced historically: political unrest, civil war and, of course, famine.

However, in 2017, Ethiopia had the fastest-growing economy in the world and was named by Lonely Planet as one of its Best in Travel countries of that year. Change is happening, but it’s still slow. 

Figures suggest that around a third (33.5%) of Ethiopia’s population still lives in poverty. Despite the good press, the country still faces political instability, civil unrest and abject hardship.

Ethiopia is the 15th poorest country in the world

Major international organisations assess a country’s wealth using different factors. One criterion commonly used – including by the World Bank – is GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP).

PPP is the alternative to using market exchange rates. 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 PPP GDP (GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity) it is possible to assess each country and rank the poorest countries in the world. International dollars are used as a global currency for comparison.

Poorest countries in the world

Africa dominates the ranking of the poorest countries in the world. The first non-African country on the list is Haiti, ranked 17th.

Some smaller territories such as Monaco or Andorra are not included in the ranking. Additionally, some countries (particularly those locked in ongoing conflicts) do not have sufficient data available to be ranked.

RankCountryInternational $
1Central African Republic699
2Burundi778
3Congo, Dem. Rep.802
4Liberia813
5Niger986
6Malawi1,169
7Mozambique1,217
8Sierra Leone1,476
9Togo1,491
10Madagascar1,506
11Eritrea**1,510
12Comoros1,522
13Guinea-Bissau1,609
14Gambia, The1,677
15Ethiopia1,734
16Burkina Faso1,771
17Haiti1,784
18Uganda1,819
19Rwanda1,913
20South Sudan*1,925
21Afghanistan1,944
22Guinea1,966
23Chad1,991
24Zimbabwe2,027
25Kiribati2,109
26Mali2,126
27Timor-Leste2,140
28Benin2,168
29Solomon Islands2,235
30Nepal2,478
31Yemen, Rep.2,507
32Senegal2,566
33Tanzania2,786
34Lesotho2,951
35Tajikistan2,979
36Vanuatu3,081
37Kenya3,155
38Sao Tome and Principe3,237
39Djibouti*3,343
40Micronesia, Fed. Sts.3,509
41Kyrgyz Republic3,552
42Bangladesh3,580
43Cameroon3,609
44Tuvalu3,651
45Cote d'Ivoire3,693
46Cambodia3,737
47Mauritania3,853
48Zambia3,933
49Marshall Islands4,023
50Papua New Guinea4,183
51Ghana4,292
52Sudan4,730
53Honduras4,737
54Pakistan5,235
55Moldova5,332
56Nicaragua5,540
57Congo, Rep.5,717
58Myanmar5,721
59Tonga5,745
60Nigeria5,861
61South Asia (IDA & IBRD)6,064
62Vietnam6,296
63Samoa6,378
64Angola6,454
65Uzbekistan6,513
66Lao PDR6,550
67Cabo Verde6,551
68India6,571
69Bolivia7,234
70Philippines7,804
71Guyana7,836
72Morocco7,857
73Guatemala7,945
74Ukraine8,270
75Swaziland8,330
76Belize8,462
77El Salvador8,617
78Jamaica8,821
79Armenia8,833
80Bhutan8,901
81Jordan9,048
82Fiji9,110
83Paraguay9,567
84Georgia10,005
85Kosovo10,064
86Namibia10,625
87Dominica10,948
88Egypt, Arab Rep.11,129
89Libya**11,193
90Ecuador11,242
91St. Vincent and the Grenadines11,457
92Albania11,540
93Tunisia11,596
94Indonesia11,609
95Bosnia and Herzegovina12,172
96Mongolia12,252
97Sri Lanka12,552
98St. Lucia12,953
99Peru13,019
100South Africa13,197
101Nauru13,966
102Colombia14,154
103Grenada14,200
104Lebanon14,309
105Serbia14,515
106Macedonia, FYR14,942
107Suriname14,967
108Algeria15,013
109Brazil15,124
110Dominican Republic15,205
111Maldives15,348
112Caribbean small states15,371
113China15,529
114Palau16,305
115Costa Rica16,610
116Turkmenistan16,876
117Thailand16,913
118Botswana16,957
119Azerbaijan17,257
120Mexico17,275
121Iraq17,349
122Venezuela **17,605
123Montenegro17,633
124Barbados18,065
125Belarus18,066
126Gabon18,103
127Bulgaria19,243
128Argentina19,940
129Iran, Islamic Rep.19,949
130Mauritius21,103
131Uruguay21,620
132Bahamas, The22,517
133Antigua and Barbuda22,661
134Panama23,009
135Romania23,027
136Chile23,194
137Croatia23,422
138Russian Federation24,789
139Turkey25,247
140Kazakhstan25,286
141Latvia25,587
142Equatorial Guinea26,058
143St. Kitts and Nevis26,383
144Hungary26,701
145Greece26,779
146Poland27,383
147Malaysia27,683
148Seychelles28,384
149Estonia29,743
150Lithuania29,838
151Slovak Republic30,460
152Portugal30,607
153Cyprus32,708
154Slovenia32,723
155Trinidad and Tobago32,855
156Czech Republic34,749
157Spain36,305
158Korea, Rep.36,532
159Israel37,258
160Puerto Rico37,741
161Malta37,928
162Italy38,370
163New Zealand38,565
164France41,343
165Japan42,203
166United Kingdom42,609
167Oman*42,743
168Finland43,346
169Canada44,644
170Australia46,012
171Belgium46,429
172Bahrain **46,776
173Germany48,861
174Sweden48,905
175Denmark49,029
176Iceland50,104
177Netherlands50,539
178Austria50,552
179Saudi Arabia54,417
180United States57,638
181Hong Kong SAR, China58,618
182Norway58,790
183Switzerland63,889
184Ireland71,472
185United Arab Emirates72,400
186Kuwait74,264
187Brunei Darussalam77,421
188Singapore87,833
189Luxembourg102,389
190Qatar127,480
-CubaNo Data
-Korea, Dem. People’s Rep.No Data
-SomaliaNo Data
-Syria No Data

* only 2015 data available
** only 2011 data available

Source: World Development Indicators from the World Bank; GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP); data last updated on 01/03/18.

Lead image: Atlas & Boots

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