The global economy is increasingly complicated and competitive. Countries are compelled to use whatever tools they have at their disposal to promote growth, attract business, and protect their economic interests. The international playing field is not level, however, and a number of unique disadvantages have made wealth creation and economic development nearly impossible in some parts of the world.
The poorest countries in the world, regardless of continent or hemisphere, often share some common traits. In several cases, they were under European colonial control and only gained independence some time in the last century. Many of the poorest countries have also recently been devastated by civil war or natural disasters. Poor populations are also often hamstrung by political corruption and instability, as well as inadequate infrastructure and public services.
Lacking the stability, and resources necessary to develop well-rounded, valuable economies of innovation, the poorest countries in the world tend to be heavily dependent on agriculture — both for subsistence and international trade. Further, the lack of economic activity in many of these countries has significant implications for public health and life expectancy.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed World Bank data on gross national income per capita based on purchasing power parity, or GNI per capita PPP, by country to identify the poorest countries in the world. This measure is commonly used to approximate average annual income. For reference, GNI per capita PPP in the United States is $54,151. In every country on this list, GNI per capita is below $3,000.