Poorest Countries In Africa 2019

Over half of the nations in Africa are considered to be the poorest countries in the world. The continent as a whole has lower levels of success economically than the other six continents around the world. This is not to say that the continent as a whole is not doing better every year, because Africa in general is developing very quickly. But even so, there are many nations that aren’t showing economic growth, and even the countries that are improving are not experiencing nearly as much growth as the nations would like.

Economic insecurity, political instability, and civil wars within these nations have left many of Africa’s citizens living a life of poverty. As such, the continent is home to some of the poorest countries around the globe. One of the factors used to determine the richest and poorest countries in the world is by taking a look at the gross domestic product per capita of each nation. Also known as the GDP, the gross domestic product per capita measures the purchasing power of each nation in the international market.

The GDP is an excellent indicator of affluence, and as such, it is very commonly used for the sake of determining how rich -- or in this case, how poor -- a country is.

Based on the data collected from research looking into the GDP of African countries, Somalia currently has the lowest GDP per capita. It is ranked as number fifty-four in terms of countries with the lowest GDP per capita in Africa. On a global scale, Somalia is ranked as having the 188th lowest GDP in the world.

The second poorest country in Africa is the Central African Republic. Not only is the Central African Republic one of the top two poorest nations in Africa, but it is also one of the poorest countries in the world. Coming in as the third poorest country in Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo trails closely behind Somalia and the Central African Repubic.

The top ten poorest countries in Africa based on their individual gross domestic product per capita values are…

Poorest Countries in the World

Not only are African countries very poor on their own, but when compared to the rest of the world, the top five poorest countries on Earth are all African nations. In order of the most poor nations, the top five poorest countries are…

  • The Central African Republic
  • Burundi
  • The Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Niger
  • Malawi

The countries that have higher population sizes and lower life expectancy rates tend to have a lower overall gross national income value. This is also true in terms of gross domestic product values. Countries in Africa with bigger populations and small life expectancies also have a smaller GDP value in comparison to countries with less people and higher life expectancy rates.

The Central African Republic

  • Gross national income value: $663 USD
  • Gross domestic product value: $3,100,000,000 USD
  • Life expectancy of citizens: 52.9 years old
  • Population size: 4,700,000 people


  • Gross national income value: $686 USD
  • Gross domestic product value: $7,300,000,000
  • Life expectancy of citizens: 57.9 years old
  • Population size: 10,900,000 people

The Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • Gross national income value: $796 USD
  • Gross domestic product value: $65,700,000 USD
  • Life expectancy of citizens: 60 years old
  • Population size: 81,300,000 people


  • Gross national income value: $906 USD
  • Gross domestic product value: $19,900,000,000 USD
  • Life expectancy of citizens: 60.4 years old
  • Population size: 21,500,000 people


  • Gross national income value: $1,064 USD
  • Gross domestic product value: $20,400,000,000 USD
  • Life expectancy of citizens: 63.7 years old
  • Population size: 18,600,000 people

GDP of Each African Country

While it is very telling and interesting to look at the data points for each of the five poorest African countries, it can be quite fascinating to take a peek at the GDP for all fifty-four African countries, too. Since they are all developing and still quite low on the GDP scale, looking at the GDP values across the board can help put the income values in Africa into perspective.

The country with the highest gross domestic product value in Africa is Equatorial Guinea. The country with the lowest GDP in all of Africa is Somalia. The difference between the highest GDP value and the lowest GDP value is approximately $34,365.18 USD. As you can see, there is a great amount of variance between the GDPs of various countries in Africa.

For some perspective, we can look at the GDP values of the richest country in the world, which is Qatar. The gross domestic product of Qatar is roughly $338,820,000,000 USD, with an accompanying GNI of $128,060 USD. Compared to the wealthiest African country, the GDP of Qatar is still over three hundred thirty-eight billion US dollars greater than the GDP of Africa’s richest country.

Flag Name GDP Per Capita (US dollars) GDP from Agriculture GDP from Industry GDP from Services
Central African Republic68142.90%15.90%41.20%
South Sudan1,5030.00%0.00%0.00%
Sierra Leone1,79160.70%6.50%32.90%
Guinea Bissau1,80644.10%12.90%43.00%
Burkina Faso1,88431.90%22.00%46.10%
Ivory Coast3,85717.40%28.80%53.80%
Republic Of The Congo6,7078.90%50.80%40.30%
Cape Verde6,9427.90%17.90%74.20%
South Africa13,4032.80%29.70%74.20%
Equatorial Guinea34,8652.50%56.50%45.00%