Least Developed Countries 2019

According to the United Nations, least developed countries (LDCs) are low-income countries facing severe structural setbacks to sustainable development. LDCs have low levels of human assets and are highly vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks.

Every three years, the Committee for Development (CDP) reviews the list of LDCs and assesses the three criteria: human assets, economic vulnerability, and gross national income per capita. There are currently 47 LDC countries. Five countries have been upgraded between 1994 and 2017:

There have been four United Nations conferences on LDCs, held every ten years. Two were held in Paris, one in Brussels, and the most recent in Istanbul, Turkey in 2011. The most recent conference endorsed the goal of boosting half of the current LDCs out of the category by 2022.

Country development is based on the Human Development Index (HDI), an index used to rank countries and is quantified by looking at a country’s human development such as life expectancy, education, and per capita income indicators. HDI places countries on a scale of 0-1 and categorizes them into one of four levels of human development: low human developed (0-.55), medium human development (.55-.70), high human development (.70-80), and very high human development (.80-1.0).

The ten least developed countries in the world, according to HDI rankings, are:

  1. Niger
  2. Central African Republic
  3. South Sudan
  4. Chad
  5. Burundi
  6. Sierra Leone
  7. Burkina Faso
  8. Mali
  9. Liberia
  10. Mozambique

According to the Human Development Index, Niger is the least developed country in the world with an HDI of .354. Niger has widespread malnutrition and 44.1% of people live below to the poverty line. Additionally, Niger has the highest birth rate in the world of 7.4 births per woman and the result is a growing population contributing further to widespread poverty. Droughts have stunted agricultural and economic growth, and the country is plagued by conflict with the militant Islamist group Boko Haram.

LDCs have exclusive access to international support measures to assist LDCs with trade, development cooperation, and support for participation in the United Nations and other international processes. These measures are intended to help LDCs with growth and stability to boost them out of the category.

Below is a table with each country’s HDI rankings starting the lowest (LDCs).

Flag Country Human Development Index Population 2019
Niger0.35423,310,715
Central African Republic0.3674,745,185
South Sudan0.38811,062,113
Chad0.40415,946,876
Burundi0.41711,530,580
Sierra Leone0.4197,813,215
Burkina Faso0.42320,321,378
Mali0.42719,658,031
Liberia0.4354,937,374
Mozambique0.43730,366,036
Eritrea0.443,497,117
Yemen0.45229,161,922
Guinea Bissau0.4551,920,922
Dr Congo0.45786,790,567
Guinea0.45912,771,246
Gambia0.462,347,706
Ethiopia0.463112,078,730
Djibouti0.476973,560
Malawi0.47718,628,747
Ivory Coast0.49225,716,544
Haiti0.49811,263,077
Afghanistan0.49838,041,754
Sudan0.50242,813,238
Comoros0.503850,886
Togo0.5038,082,366
Senegal0.50516,296,364
Benin0.51511,801,151
Uganda0.51644,269,594
Madagascar0.51926,969,307
Lesotho0.522,125,268
Mauritania0.524,525,696
Rwanda0.52412,626,950
Nigeria0.532200,963,599
Zimbabwe0.53514,645,468
Tanzania0.53858,005,463
Papua New Guinea0.5448,776,109
Solomon Islands0.546669,823
Cameroon0.55625,876,380
Pakistan0.562216,565,318
Nepal0.57428,608,710
Myanmar0.57854,045,420
Angola0.58131,825,295
Cambodia0.58216,486,542
Zambia0.58817,861,030
Sao Tome And Principe0.589215,056
Kenya0.5952,573,973
Equatorial Guinea0.5911,355,986
Ghana0.59230,417,856
Laos0.6017,169,455
Vanuatu0.603299,882
Republic Of The Congo0.6065,380,508
Bangladesh0.608163,046,161
Kiribati0.612117,606
Bhutan0.612763,092
Honduras0.6179,746,117
Micronesia0.627113,815
India0.641,366,417,754
Namibia0.6472,494,530
Guatemala0.6517,581,472
Tajikistan0.659,321,018
Cape Verde0.654549,935
Guyana0.654782,766
Nicaragua0.6586,545,502
Morocco0.66736,471,769
Kyrgyzstan0.6726,415,850
El Salvador0.6746,453,553
Iraq0.68539,309,783
Palestine0.6864,981,420
Bolivia0.69311,513,100
Indonesia0.694270,625,568
Vietnam0.69496,462,106
Egypt0.696100,388,073
Philippines0.699108,116,615
South Africa0.69958,558,270
Moldova0.74,043,263
Gabon0.7022,172,579
Paraguay0.7027,044,636
Libya0.7066,777,452
Turkmenistan0.7065,942,089
Marshall Islands0.70858,791
Belize0.708390,353
Uzbekistan0.7132,981,716
Samoa0.713197,097
Dominica0.71571,808
Maldives0.717530,953
Botswana0.7172,303,697
Suriname0.72581,372
Saint Vincent And The Grenadines0.723110,589
Tonga0.726104,494
Jamaica0.7322,948,279
Jordan0.73510,101,694
Tunisia0.73511,694,719
Dominican Republic0.73610,738,958
Fiji0.741889,953
Mongolia0.7413,225,167
Colombia0.74750,339,443
Saint Lucia0.747182,790
Peru0.7532,510,453
Ukraine0.75143,993,638
China0.7521,433,783,686
Ecuador0.75217,373,662
Algeria0.75443,053,054
Armenia0.7552,957,731
Thailand0.75569,625,582
Azerbaijan0.75710,047,718
Lebanon0.7576,855,713
Brazil0.759211,049,527
Venezuela0.76128,515,829
Bosnia And Herzegovina0.7683,301,000
Sri Lanka0.7721,323,733
Grenada0.772112,003
Mexico0.774127,575,529
Cuba0.77711,333,483
Saint Kitts And Nevis0.77852,823
Georgia0.783,996,765
Antigua And Barbuda0.7897,118
Trinidad And Tobago0.7841,394,973
Albania0.7852,880,917
Serbia0.7878,772,235
Panama0.7894,246,439
Mauritius0.791,269,668
Turkey0.79183,429,615
Costa Rica0.7945,047,561
Seychelles0.79797,739
Iran0.79882,913,906
Palau0.79818,008
Kazakhstan0.818,551,427
Barbados0.8287,025
Malaysia0.80231,949,777
Kuwait0.8034,207,083
Uruguay0.8043,461,734
Bahamas0.807389,482
Belarus0.8089,452,411
Romania0.81119,364,557
Bulgaria0.8137,000,119
Montenegro0.814627,987
Russia0.816145,872,256
Oman0.8214,974,986
Argentina0.82544,780,677
Croatia0.8314,130,304
Hungary0.8389,684,679
Chile0.84318,952,038
Bahrain0.8461,641,172
Latvia0.8471,906,743
Portugal0.84710,226,187
Saudi Arabia0.85334,268,528
Brunei0.853433,285
Slovakia0.8555,457,013
Qatar0.8562,832,067
Andorra0.85877,142
Lithuania0.8582,759,627
United Arab Emirates0.8639,770,529
Poland0.86537,887,768
Cyprus0.8691,198,575
Greece0.8710,473,455
Estonia0.8711,325,648
Malta0.878440,372
Italy0.8860,550,075
Spain0.89146,736,776
Slovenia0.8962,078,654
France0.90165,129,728
Israel0.9038,519,377
South Korea0.90351,225,308
Luxembourg0.904615,729
Austria0.9088,955,102
Japan0.909126,860,301
Liechtenstein0.91638,019
Belgium0.91611,539,328
New Zealand0.9174,783,063
Finland0.925,532,156
United Kingdom0.92267,530,172
United States0.924329,064,917
Canada0.92637,411,047
Denmark0.9295,771,876
Netherlands0.93117,097,130
Singapore0.9325,804,337
Hong Kong0.9337,436,154
Sweden0.93310,036,379
Iceland0.935339,031
Germany0.93683,517,045
Ireland0.9384,882,495
Australia0.93925,203,198
Switzerland0.9448,591,365
Norway0.9535,378,857