Low-income economies in the World Bank’s four-tiered ranking system are countries that are considered to be the world’s poorest. This classification is determined by the country’s gross national income (GNI) per capita, which is calculated by dividing the country’s total income by its population. GNI is similar to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, as both measure the value of the dollar and all goods and services produced in a country.
This article will examine the top 10 poorest countries in the world in 2023. It will discuss the current economic conditions of these countries and the measures being taken to address poverty in each of them.
Top 10 poorest country in the world 2023
Here, we will discuss the Top 10 poorest country in the world 2023. Furthermore, it will explore the potential for economic growth in these countries in the years to come.
Burundi, a small landlocked country marred by ethnic conflict and civil war between the Hutu-Tutsi communities, unfortunately, holds the top spot in the global poverty rankings. Burundi’s food insecurity level is nearly double the sub-Saharan African countries’ average. Additionally, the country faces severe challenges related to access to water, sanitation, and electricity. It is worth noting that these issues have been further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine.
Since signing a delicate peace agreement in 2018 that ended years of civil war, the economy has remained feeble. The UN reports that most of the populace is currently confronting severe food insecurity, which can be attributed to high levels of violence, currency depreciation, repercussions from the war in Ukraine, and supply interruptions. Intense flooding has also hampered economic activity.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic is plagued by a feeble central administration, which allows armed rebel factions to roam freely and dominate significant portions of the country. Additionally, the government’s reliance on Russian mercenaries to uphold law and order has created a divide with Western nations. As a consequence of the ongoing unrest, the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth is projected to fall notably below the average for Sub-Saharan Africa through 2026.
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
After gaining independence from Belgium in 1960, the Congo has been plagued by decades of oppressive dictatorship, political turmoil, and incessant violence. Despite possessing 80 million hectares of cultivable land, more than a thousand minerals and precious metals buried underground, the Democratic Republic of Congo holds enormous potential, according to the World Bank, to become one of the wealthiest nations in Africa and a key catalyst for growth across the continent.
Somalia has been plagued by violence and instability in the Horn of Africa for decades. This persistent violence and susceptibility to drought are projected to continue hindering growth, leading to Somalia’s classification as the world’s poorest nation by 2026. However, there have been recent positive developments, such as the expulsion of Al-Shabab from major population centres and the smooth transfer of power to a new president in May 2022.
Niger, a country with 80% of its landlocked territory covered by the Sahara Desert and a rapidly growing population largely reliant on small-scale agriculture, faces significant challenges from desertification and climate change. The nation is plagued by food insecurity, high rates of disease and mortality, and the recurrent clashes between its military and jihadist groups such as Boko Haram, which has resulted in the displacement of numerous people. Furthermore, the economy, which is primarily driven by the extraction of valuable natural resources such as gold and uranium, has experienced volatility and low commodity prices.
Despite having abundant arable land, water, energy, and mineral resources, Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony, still ranks among the top 10 poorest countries globally. Strategically positioned, with four of the six countries it borders being landlocked and reliant on it for access to international trade, Mozambique has witnessed an average GDP growth rate of over 7% in the past decade. However, a significant portion of its population continues to live well below the poverty line.
Malawi’s economy faces limitations due to its dependence on subsistence farming and a single cash crop – tobacco. Additionally, high levels of public debt may discourage private investment, while frequent power outages may hinder business operations. There are significant fiscal and current account imbalances, a fragmented Parliament, reliance on foreign funding, and susceptibility to extreme weather events, all of which pose significant risks.
In the mid-2010s, following a prolonged civil war that ended in 2002, the economy was rocked by the Ebola epidemic, resulting in employment and trade being impacted. This year, due to the conflict in Ukraine, import prices have increased sharply, negatively affecting purchasing power and sparking violent anti-government protests in August. Sierra Leone’s economy is constrained by a narrow export base, consisting mainly of base metals, wood, diamonds, and cocoa, as well as poor governance and limited fiscal space.
Despite being the tenth-largest holder of oil reserves among African nations, Chad is still among the ten poorest. Once an agrarian economy, the landlocked Sahelian country became an oil producer in 2003. However, this sudden windfall only brought wealth to a few while causing misery for many. Despite winning independence from France over sixty years ago and becoming an oil-producing nation two decades ago, Chad still ranks near the bottom of the United Nations’ Human Development Index.
Top 10 poorest country in the world 2023: FAQs
Burundi comes first in the list of the Top 10 poorest country in the world 2023.
The Central African Republic is the 3rd poorest country in the world.
Chad comes in 10th place in the list of the Top 10 poorest country in the world 2023.
South Sudan is the 2nd poorest country in the world.
Somalia takes 5th place in the Top 10 poorest country in the world 2023 list.