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Poorest Countries in the World 2023


  • According to both purchasing power parity (PPP) and the Atlas Method, Burundi is the poorest country in the world.

  • Burundi's PPP is $780, while its gross national income per capita using the Atlas Method is $220, the lowest amongst all listed nations.

  • The 8 countries with the lowest PPP GNI per capita are all in Africa.

Burundi is the poorest country in the world, with a per capita GNI of $240 using the Atlas method and a PPP of $840. Conversely, Bermuda is the richest country in the world according to GNI (Atlas method), with a value of $125,240. Therefore, the difference in GNI (Atlas method) between the richest and poorest countries in the world is $116,380. In terms of PPP, Norway is the richest country in the world, with a PPP of $118,440. Therefore, the difference between the richest and poorest countries in terms of PPP is $101,670. The average Atlas method GNI among all countries is $16,804, meaning the average country is over 58 times richer than Burundi. The average GNI PPP is $23,521, making the average country over 26 times richer than Burundi.

Gross National Income (GNI)

Gross national income (GNI) is the total amount of money earned by a nation's people and businesses. It is typically expressed in one of two ways. The first is in US dollars, calculated using a technique called the Atlas method to compare each nation's currency. The second is in "purchasing power parity (PPP) international dollars," a hypothetical currency tied to the value of the US dollar in a given year. Under the World Bank system, low-income countries are nations that have a GNI (adjusted to current US dollars) of less than $1,135 as of 2022.

The world's poorest countries are classified as low-income economies in the four-tiered World Bank ranking system. This ranking is based on each country's gross national income (GNI) per capita, which is a measure of the country's total income divided by its population. GNI is similar to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. GDP is the sum of the gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes, minus any subsidies, divided by the country’s population. Both GNI and GDP measure the dollar value of all goods and services produced in a given country, but GNI also includes income earned via international sources (such as foreign investments or real estate holdings). Therefore, GNI is considered a slightly more accurate measure of a country's economic health and, therefore, used to determine the world’s poorest countries in this article.

5 Poorest Countries in the World

1. Burundi

Burundi is the world's poorest country. It has over 13.2 million people and is growing at a rate of 2.87%, making it one of the fastest-growing countries in the world; however, Burundi faces the threat of overpopulation. The country's largest industry is agriculture, making up 32.9% of its GDP and employing over 70% of the population. Despite this, about 40% of its people don't have access to enough food, and overpopulation can exacerbate this. Burundi also struggles with limited education, widespread corruption, and warfare.

2. Central African Republic

The Central African Republic’s GNI PPP is $980, making it the second-poorest country. CAR is another country with a fast-growing population but a weak economy. Many citizens are subsistence farmers to take care of their families, and agriculture makes up over half of the country’s GDP. While timber and diamonds account for the majority of the country’s profits, its citizens do not see the money.

3. South Sudan

South Sudan is the third-poorest country in the world, with a GNI PPP of $1,040. South Sudan has the lowest Human Development Index (HDI) score in the world of just .385. The HDI is a measurement of average achievement in human development, including indicators such as life expectancy, education, income, and more. The country has one of the world’s highest maternal mortality rates, most homes lack electricity or running water, and paved roads are uncommon.

4. Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo has a GNI PPP of $1,110, making it the fourth-poorest country. This country is one of the fastest-growing in the world, with an annual population increase of 3.26% on top of its current 102 million people. It’s rapid population growth exacerbates its high rates of malnutrition, lack of modern healthcare, and poor education, in addition to facing political instability and conflict. The Democratic Republic of the Congo has a poverty rate of 63.9%.

5. Somalia

Somalia is the world’s fifth-poorest country, with a GNI PPP of $1,240. Like the other previously mentioned, Somalia’s population is growing rapidly at 3.32% with a fertilityrate of over 6 births per woman. This puts a strain on the country’s poor healthcare and instability. Somalia faces numerous other issues, such as poor governance, internal conflict, economic decline, and poverty. About 70% of Samolians live below the poverty line.

Global Gross National Income (GNI)

As of 2022, World Bank recorded global PPP at $20,645.50, and shows the global Atlas method value at $12,804. Africa, where the majority of the world's ten poorest countries are located, has a PPP of $6,825, and its Atlas method value is $2,570.56, making it the poorest continent in the world.

Here are the top 10 poorest countries:

  1. Burundi: $840 🇧🇮
  2. Central African Republic: $1,020 🇨🇫
  3. DR Congo: $1,280 🇨🇩
  4. Somalia: $1,360 🇸🇴
  5. Mozambique: $1,410 🇲🇿
  6. Niger: $1,510 🇳🇪
  7. Liberia: $1,620 🇱🇷
  8. Chad: $1,640 🇹🇩
  9. Afghanistan: $1,690 🇦🇫
  10. Malawi: $1,700 🇲🇼


The numbers on this page are provided by World Bank’s data on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) and the Atlas method for 2022 or the most recent year’s available data. The GNI PPP dataset is missing some countries due to a lack of information, which have not been included on this page. Some countries that are not included: Andorra, Cuba, Eritrea, Faroe Islands, North Korea, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Syria, and Yemen.

- Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita measures a country's GDP divided by its total population.
- The GDP per capita PPP is obtained by dividing the country's gross domestic product, adjusted by purchasing power parity, by the total population.

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What is the poorest country in the world?

Burundi is the poorest country in the world, with a GNI(PPP) of 840.

What are the 10 poorest countries in the world?

The 10 poorest countries in the world are Burundi, Central African Republic, DR Congo, Somalia, Mozambique, Niger, Liberia, Chad, Afghanistan and Malawi.

What are the 10 richest countries in the world?

The 10 richest countries in the world are Norway, Qatar, Singapore, Bermuda, Luxembourg, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, United States and Denmark.

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