The Top 10 World's Poorest Countries 2023

The top poorest countries in the world.

The poorest countries in the world in 2023 are countries with the lowest GDP per capita. They are the hardest places to live. Gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is a measure of a nation's economic output per person. 

It is determined by dividing a country’s GDP by its number of citizens (population). PPP GDP refers to gross domestic product that has been changed to foreign currency (specifically dollars) using purchasing power parity rates. 

GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP) data used in ranking these poor countries is gotten from the World Bank. You may have wondered, what is/are the top 10 poorest country in the world? This article get you covered and you will get to know the reasons they are so poor. 

These are the top 10 world’s poorest countries 2023, they are, 

These countries are all African countries. Africa is the poorest continent in the world. Check out these countries' PPP GDP and lots more. Keep reading!

1. Burundi                       

Burundi is the number one among the poorest countries in the world.
Image credit: Quentcourtois0 / Pixabay 

GDP per capita, PPP (current international $): 793.2

This country, Burundi is the number one poorest country in the world in 2023 and of course in Africa as well. The poverty rate in the country is about 64.9% and has the lowest PPP GDP mentioned above. Here are the reasons Burundi is so poor. 

First, an extremely unsteady political environment has great effects on the country, as the country has engaged in many civil wars. 

At least the country has experienced 5 civil wars that claim many lives and displace millions of people as refugees. With this, the citizens are unable to engage in agriculture which is the main backbone of the country’s economy. 

Secondly, the government there is ineffective in the management of resources and public finances. For example, the government rations subsidized electricity as well as subsidizes fuel which prevents the growth of the nation. 

The third reason is that there is little land compared to the fast-growing population. In the country, the major reasons for conflict are about land. Meaning there is little land to support their livelihood. 

And the last reason is that from time to time, the people here experience natural disasters such as droughts, hailstorms, floods, and torrential rain. This brings about displacement and food shortages bringing it first on the list of the poorest countries in the world in 2023. 

2. Central Africa Republic (CAR)     

Central Africa Republic (CAR) is the second on the list of the poorest countries in the world.
Image credit: JMGRACIA100 

GDP per capita, PPP (current international $): 1, 020.5

Even though this country has many natural resources like oil, uranium, diamond, and gold, nonetheless about 71% of its population is under the international poverty line. It is certainly one of the poorest countries in the world and over 40% of the population suffer from chronic malnutrition. 

This country experiences conflict and violence that more than 600,000 people seek refuge outside the country. It always has a history of conflicts, multiple political ideologies, a variety of ethnic groups, and religious rivalries. 

The health issue is of great concern here too, that 882 deaths happen from pregnancy-related issues for every 100,000 live births. About 18 years ago, about 100,000 people are HIV positive which has not reduced drastically. 

Other diseases that are the leading cause of death in this country include malaria, lower respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, and tuberculosis. For this, life expectancy is low which is 53.35 years. Most children here are deprived of high-quality education; the literacy rate is about 37.4%. 

See also:

The Top 15 Most Visited Countries In The World 

3. Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo)   

Among the poorest countries in the world is Democratic Republic of the Congo (DR Congo).
Refugees in Congo. Image credit: Julien Harneis

GDP per capita, PPP (current international $): 1, 218.8

DR Congo is located in Sub-Sahara Africa and it is gifted with outstanding natural resources like significant arable land, hydropower potential, copper, and cobalt. 

Yet, its citizens have not been helped by this wealth; instead, the country is listed among the top poorest countries in the world in 2023. Four years ago, about 60 million Congolese that is 73% of the population live daily on less than $1.9. 

Meaning if you meet 6 people here, one among them is extremely poor. The country’s political instability and history of war have greatly influenced its citizens as a result many people are displaced. 

Even after the end of the war in 2003, the effect has not changed. With this lot of Congolese experience poor education, illness, and high rates of malnutrition.

4. South Sudan                      

South Sudan is one out of the top 10 poorest in the world.
Image credit: Steve Evans

GDP per capita, PPP (current international $):  1, 234.7

The quality of life is very low here, making South Sudan one of the poorest countries in the world in 2023. The location of the country has effects on the poverty rate, it is a landlocked country. 

Foreign investors and humanitarian professionals cannot easily access this country. Bad roads especially during the rainy seasons make most parts of the country obstructed. Another cause of poverty is due to widespread corruption.

Individuals who controlled the capital of the enterprises used it exclusively for their personal benefit, neglecting many people who ought to gain from it. The country is poor. About 7 years ago, 66% of the population are in extreme poverty and this situation has not really gotten better. 

Another issue here is their belief about health care services. For every 1000 births, 105 infants die because immunization is not a priority, some children do not receive immunization. Illiteracy is high with a wide gender gap among males, 40% are illiterate while in females, it is 16%. 

There is no easy access to drinkable water and 38% of these citizens have to trek for about 30 minutes to have drinkable water. People here suffer from sanitation in which 80% of South Sudan people do not have toilets. 

See also: 

The Top 13 Safest Countries In The World 

5. Somalia                            

Somalia is among the poorest countries in the world.
Image credit:  Robbert van der Steeg from Nairobi, Kenya

GDP per capita, PPP (current international $): 1, 302.5

The cause of poverty in this country is beyond its government's ability to help its citizen. The country is affected by climate change and they do not have the effective means of combatting the effects. 

More so, the country depends majorly on agriculture and livestock. There was a time in the country when they experience poor rainfall for two seasons; the effect was terrible that more than half of the population need humanitarian assistance. 

For this Somalia is at war with hunger, it is a real threat to the people. Due to drought and starvation, within two days, it happened that 110 people died in a village in the country. Rural areas are the most affected part of the country by drought. 

In order to receive help, many people living in rural areas often trek to Somalia’s capital city of Mogadishu, where food is distributed as there are feeding centers. On the way to this center, are reports of children dying and corpses on the road as a result of starvation. 

Lack of sufficient food due to higher food prices, extremely limited wages, and unemployment are the main causes of poverty. The country actually needs foreign assistance to compact these problems.  

6. Niger                            

Niger is a South West African countries and it is one of the poorest countries in the world.
Image credit: Alek Burley

GDP per capita, PPP (current international $): 1, 309.8

It is an African country situated at the tip of the Sahara, and it is one of the top poorest countries in the world in 2023. More than 45% of Nigeriens are under the international poverty line. The first reason why this country is poor is that per woman, the birth rate is 7.4. 

The vast growing population is one of the issues here. Women here do not take family planning seriously. This is due to illiteracy, thinking it will affect their body. Drought as well affects the agriculture system in the country leading to food shortages. 

The last drought experience in this country was in 2010, and that still affects them today. When there are food shortages, there will be few jobs that can be available which brings this country among the poorest countries in the world. It is a hot country among the hottest countries too. 

Another cause of poverty is the problem with the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram. A country that has an imbalanced economy now has to face issues with this group. This cause more hardship in the country. Hundreds of Nigeriens sought refugees within the country.

7. Burkina Faso                     

Burkina Faso is one of the poorest countries in the world.Image credit: RobertoVi / Pixabay 

GDP per capita, PPP (current international $): 1, 342.3

Burkina Faso is a low-income country situated in sub-Sahara Africa. In the country, about 90% of poor people are living in rural areas. Even though the country is growing, about 40.1% of the citizens live under the poverty line. 

Especially in the rural areas and people in cities are also experiencing poverty too. Since people in the rural areas depend solely on Agriculture and what is generated from this is unpredictable. 

This is because rainfalls in the country are not consistence. The agriculture system in this country lacks modern equipment and resilience leading to high rates of food insecurity and malnutrition in children. 

Instability in the country’s political system has many effects on the economy making this country to be part of the top 10 poorest countries in the world in 2023. As time goes by, it is believed that this country's poverty state will continue to reduce if the political situation is stable and modern equipment is implemented for farming. 

See also:

The Top 15 Hottest Countries In The World 

8. Liberia                      

Among the poorest countries in the world is Liberia.
Image credit:  katiebennett4 / Pixabay 

GDP per capita, PPP (current international $): 1, 552.8

Liberia is rich in natural resources like gold, rubber, diamond, timber, and iron ore. Yet, they are undeniably one of the poorest countries in the world. The main cause of poverty here is government conflict and corruption. 

The citizens here experience civil war for 14 years. Since then, the country has slightly recovered with few chances to adjust back to a normal civilian life. The war claims more than two hundred thousand people's lives. 

The effect of the war is poverty and violence, even using children as soldiers. About 64% of people here live under the poverty line. Due to corruption, the country has failed to make use of its natural resources for the benefit of its citizens. 

The biggest plague in the country, which has spread to many other spheres of society, is corruption in the administration. Low pay in the public sector and inadequate training, as shown by Transparency International, serve as incentives for corruption. 

For this, there are insufficient infrastructures, such as bad roads as well as the restrained institutional ability of farmers’ groups.

9. Chad                              

Chad is one of the poorest countries in the world that food insecurity is affecting.
Image credit: Johannes Ludwig / Unsplash 

GDP per capita, PPP (current international $): 1590.6

The unstable climatic condition that can drastically change from flooding to drought, then to torrential rain is one of the main reasons Chad is among the poorest countries in the world in 2023. 

Imagine this, for a whole year the country experience drought and then the following year, there was heavy rain that result in flooding. Now, how will such a country be able to cope with agriculture and succeed? 

As regards the Global Hunger Index, among 78 countries, this country is listed as the 73rd. The country has poor public services such as the health care sector. Some years back, in the whole country, there were just 345 doctors which is a ratio of 0.4 doctors to 10,000 people. 

This is because many here lack education, only about 33% of adults here are literate. The lack of proper education is caused by limited human resources and inadequate infrastructure. The third reason this country is so poor is the current oil crisis. 

The country depends majorly on oil since 2003. But in 2014, Chad experience a recession which brings about an increase in poverty because many public services projects were scrapped. 

10. Madagascar                      


Madagascar is among the poorest countries in the world today.
Image credit:  Aga2rk / Pixabay 

GDP per capita, PPP (current international $): 1, 635.4

Madagascar is endowed with some natural resources and it is the 5th world's biggest island. Yet, they rank among the poorest countries in the world in 2023. Majority of citizens live in extreme poverty, that is 75% of the people lives on less than $1.90 daily. 

According to World Bank, more than 25 million people are under the international poverty line. Poverty here has many negative effects on children, UNICEF states that half of the children under five years suffer from chronic malnutrition. 

Since poverty hit everyone here; children are also forced to do hard labor instead of being present at school. The geographical location of the country also contributed to the poverty experienced by these people.  

Being an island, the water level continues to rise, which marks it very vulnerable to cyclones. For this, they experience food insecurity and drought in a  country that largely survives on fishing and farming. 

About 80% of people living in the rural areas are unable to sustain themselves; this is because just 10% of the original rainforest is left as their slash and burning farming techniques have led to deforestation. There is no adequate infrastructure here, road conditions are poor, and only 11% of roads are paved. 

Sanitation and drinkable water are also a challenge here, as only half of Madagascar residents have access to drinkable water. If these conditions are addressed, the poverty situation in the country will improve. 

What are your thoughts about the poorest countries in the world in 2023? We will like to hear from you in the comment section below (Post a comment). Please share this article and you may follow us on our social media handles or you can subscribe to our mailing lists. Thanks for reading!


  1. It saddens my heart to see people living in such a critical condition.
    I look forward to the time when all people will live in good condition and have all their needs satisfied.

    1. Yes, I believe too, soon there will be a time when people living in this poorest countries in the world today will no longer experience poverty.


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