There are 2 major standards used to measure a country’s wealth level – GDP (gross domestic product), which basically measures the size of the economy and per-capita GDP, which also measures a country’s average affluence and welfare, or level of poverty of the residents.
Economists prefer the GDP classification because it compares generalized differences in income standards between nations. As you’d expect, many of the world’s poorest countries are in Africa. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering that the continent has been war and famine hotspots for centuries.
Back in the 60s, both India and China were relatively poor countries as well. They had huge populations, tremendous unexplored resources and low literacy rates. However, these countries managed to improve their fortunes through rural organization and education. In Africa, many countries still don’t have an efficient government, even if their untapped resources are truly remarkable (diamonds, gold, oil, etc.). Corruption has spread like a plague in Africa, and it’s impossible to change a system when there’s no one willing to change it.
Some African countries have started to exploit their resources, such as Nigeria for example, which has incredible oil reserves. On the other hand, we have the Republic of Congo, which doesn’t have access to capital and can’t build an infrastructure even though it has tremendous reserves, too. Here are 10 of the world’s poorest countries.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo must not be confused with thebordering Republic of Congo. These are two completely different nations; the first one was known as Zaire until 1997, and it is the world’s poorest and largest country with French as an official language.
As of 2011, D.R Congo’s population surpassed 71 million people. With a DGP per capita of $289 in 2013, the country was devastated in 1998, when the Second Congo War started. It involved more than 7 foreign armies and it was classified as the world’s deadliest conflict since the Second World War. By 2008, Congo’s Second War had killed an average number of 5.4 million people.
Almost 65% of D.R Congo’s people live in rural areas, and most of them are incredibly poor. Back in 2006, more than a third of the country’s children suffered from severe malnutrition. Even today, getting access to water is really tough; 11% of people have access to clean water compared to 75% in the urban areas of Congo.
The unemployment rate in the country is close to 50% in the rural regions, and the people who have the most to suffer are the young ones.