Poorest countries in the world 2024 – ranked

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African nations continue to 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 is still ranked as one of the poorest countries in the world. Despite plunging into yet another civil war which has left hundreds of thousands of people dead, the latest data from the World Bank shows that Ethiopia currently ranks 26th.

Which is the world’s poorest country?

Burundi, a land-locked and densely populated country in East Africa, is the world’s poorest country. Over 70% of the country’s 12.1 million people live in poverty. Recently, the country has also witnessed deadly attacks from anti-government rebels.

Burundi is followed by the Central African Republic, South Sudan, DR Congo and Mozambique. The richest countries are Luxembourg, Singapore, Ireland, Norway and Qatar.

People at a market in Burundi, one of the poorest countries in the world
Rostasedlacek/Shutterstock Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world

Soberingly, 19 of the 20 poorest countries are all located in Africa. The first non-African country on the list is Afghanistan, ranked 10th.

The World Bank ranks 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.

Lalibela in Ethiopia
Atlas & Boots Ethiopia is the world’s 26th poorest country

Poorest countries in the world

The World Bank does not have sufficient data for a number of countries including Andorra, Cuba, Liechtenstein, Monaco, North Korea and Syria, but otherwise ranks the poorest countries in the world as below, based on 2022 data unless stated otherwise.

* 2021 data
** 2019 data
*** 2015 data
**** 2013 data
*****2011 data

RankCountryInternational $
1Burundi836.46
2Central African Republic973.25
3South Sudan***1,181.93
4DR Congo1,337.83
5Mozambique1,477.35
6Niger1,505.54
7Liberia*1,570.47
8Eritrea*****1,628.75
9Chad1,668.58
10Afghanistan*1,673.14
11Somalia1,710.96
12Malawi1,732.60
13Madagascar1,774.66
14Sierra Leone1,930.90
15Guinea-Bissau2,191.16
16Kiribati2,365.51
17Gambia, The2,496.50
18Mali2,518.95
19Burkina Faso2,549.93
20Togo2,601.75
21Zimbabwe2,607.93
22Lesotho2,646.18
23Solomon Islands2,654.97
24Uganda2,693.11
25Rwanda2,793.19
26Ethiopia2,812.51
27Tanzania3,099.17
28Guinea3,188.08
29Vanuatu3,290.57
30Haiti3,306.17
31Yemen****3,437.43
32Comoros3,833.74
33Micronesia3,854.88
34Zambia3,975.60
35Benin4,057.45
36Sao Tome & Principe4,061.81
37Senegal4,210.36
38Sudan4,217.42
39Congo4,335.06
40Cameroon4,398.05
41Papua New Guinea4,432.79
42Timor-Leste4,657.38
43Nepal4,726.61
44Tajikistan4,886.74
45Myanmar5,019.74
46Cambodia5,355.17
47Tuvalu5,423.05
48Kenya5,765.82
49Nigeria5,862.24
50Djibouti5,893.24
51Kyrgyzstan5,988.61
52Samoa6,089.56
53Mauritania6,295.78
54Pakistan6,351.00
55Ghana6,473.09
56Cote d’Ivoire6,540.46
57Honduras6,743.33
58Palestine6,759.02
59Tonga*6,778.50
60Nicaragua6,877.07
61Angola6,976.01
62Marshall Islands7,092.03
63Bangladesh7,397.55
64India8,400.38
65Cabo Verde8,716.00
66Laos9,387.37
67Uzbekistan9,535.67
68Morocco9,547.66
69Bolivia9,737.68
70Philippines10,136.55
71Eswatini10,699.54
72Guatemala10,821.76
73Iraq10,865.42
74El Salvador11,098.10
75Belize11,189.86
76Jordan11,209.90
77Namibia11,531.30
78Jamaica11,938.90
79Tunisia12,483.63
80Ukraine12,675.44
81Bhutan*12,795.35
82Ecuador12,826.36
83Nauru13,021.40
84Algeria13,226.79
85Viet Nam13,461.01
86Dominica13,540.22
87Mongolia14,260.31
88Lebanon*14,330.52
89Sri Lanka14,410.19
90Fiji14,632.21
91Indonesia14,657.78
92Kosovo14,971.15
93Peru15,052.50
94Egypt15,095.99
95Palau*15,572.74
96Turkmenistan**15,628.46
97Moldova15,719.23
98South Africa15,920.43
99Paraguay15,982.60
100Gabon16,464.97
101Grenada17,082.89
102St Vincent & Gren17,212.43
103Venezuela*****17,402.28
104Equatorial Guinea17,620.74
105Suriname17,773.48
106Brazil17,827.64
107Azerbaijan17,828.61
108St Lucia17,835.70
109Barbados18,210.13
110Iran18,261.85
111Botswana18,329.85
112Albania18,603.41
113Armenia18,965.73
114Bosnia & Herz19,990.81
115Georgia20,172.08
116Colombia20,268.68
117North Macedonia20,328.85
118Thailand20,679.12
119China21,482.56
120Mexico22,298.21
121Belarus22,550.64
122Dominican Rep22,841.09
123Libya23,382.73
124Serbia23,914.17
125Turks & Caicos24,471.52
126Maldives25,124.61
127Costa Rica25,237.12
128Antigua & Barbuda26,365.47
129Argentina26,530.32
130Mauritius26,979.05
131Montenegro27,027.48
132Trinidad & Tobago27,515.53
133Uruguay28,851.54
134Seychelles29,771.75
135Chile30,208.81
136Kazakhstan30,820.09
137Malaysia33,525.30
138Bulgaria33,845.58
139St Kitts & Nevis33,981.84
140Russia36,307.81
141Greece37,075.11
142Turkiye37,445.16
143Slovakia37,457.17
144Panama39,292.69
145Latvia39,825.26
146Croatia40,240.01
147Bahamas40,942.78
148Romania41,259.54
149Oman41,738.16
150Hungary41,740.91
151Portugal41,862.72
152Guyana42,089.90
153Poland44,134.62
154Japan45,583.85
155Spain46,331.65
156Estonia46,556.39
157Slovenia48,302.53
158Aruba48,750.32
159Lithuania48,860.68
160Czech Rep49,194.96
161Israel49,754.76
162South Korea50,330.54
163Cyprus51,322.70
164New Zealand52,149.24
165Italy52,804.00
166UK54,929.83
167France55,387.46
168Malta55,865.85
169Canada58,347.67
170Kuwait58,349.21
171Saudi Arabia59,279.89
172Finland59,470.15
173Macao (SAR, China)61,230.96
174Bahrain61,248.18
175Australia63,216.15
176Germany63,521.90
177Sweden65,156.95
178Belgium65,478.45
179Austria67,874.90
180San Marino*67,982.97
181Hong Kong (SAR, China)69,072.31
182Brunei Darussalam69,297.93
183Iceland69,615.50
184Netherlands70,869.41
185Denmark74,897.00
186USA76,329.58
187Switzerland84,649.94
188UAE88,488.98
189Bermuda95,868.78
190Qatar114,049.23
191Norway114,929.52
192Ireland126,837.31
193Singapore127,606.81
194Luxembourg140,616.45

Source: World Development Indicators from the World Bank; GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP); data last updated on 18 December 2023.

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Lead image: Richard Juilliart/Shutterstock

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