25 Poorest Countries in the World

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25. Nepal
> GNI per capita: $2,748
> 2018 GDP: $28.8 billion (104th out of 208 countries)
> Population (2018): 28.1 million
> Life expectancy at birth in 2017: 70.2 years

Nepal is the only Asian nation to rank among the 25 poorest countries in the world. The mountainous nation’s economy of $28.8 billion is smaller than that of several countries home to many times fewer people. The country relies heavily on tourism and international aid.

In 2015, Nepal was devastated by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that killed about 9,000 people and damaged hundreds of thousands of buildings in and around the capital city of Kathmandu.

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24. Tanzania
> GNI per capita: $2,743
> 2018 GDP: $57.4 billion (82nd out of 208 countries)
> Population (2018): 56.3 million
> Life expectancy at birth in 2017: 64.5 years

With only a couple of exceptions, every country on this list is located in Africa. Unlike many of the other countries on the continent, however, Tanzania is relatively politically stable and peaceful. Still, it remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

Poorer populations often lack access to critical health care and often report worse health outcomes as a result. In Tanzania, life expectancy at birth is just 64.5 years, about eight years below the global average.

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23. Zimbabwe
> GNI per capita: $2,661
> 2018 GDP: $31.0 billion (102nd out of 208 countries)
> Population (2018): 14.4 million
> Life expectancy at birth in 2017: 60.8 years

Corruption in the public sector can discourage investment and hinder economic progress, and according to Transparency International, a nonprofit corruption watchdog, Zimbabwe is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Zimbabwe was ruled for 37 years by Robert Mugabe, a president who, in his later years, violently suppressed political opponents and presided over the country’s economic ruin.

Poorer countries often report less healthy populations overall. In Zimbabwe, life expectancy at birth is just 60.8 years, one of the lowest of any country in the world and over 11 years below the global average.

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22. Comoros
> GNI per capita: $2,515
> 2018 GDP: $1.2 billion (193rd out of 208 countries)
> Population (2018): 832,322
> Life expectancy at birth in 2017: 63.9 years

Comoros is a nation of several islands off the coast of East Africa. Economic progress has been hindered by political instability in the country. Though the country is short on natural resources, its largest exports include specialty agricultural products like vanilla and cloves.

As is often the case in poor countries, corruption is hindering development in Comoros. Government has a tight control over the media, and journalists critical of the government risk arrest.

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21. Guinea
> GNI per capita: $2,211
> 2018 GDP: $11.0 billion (142nd out of 208 countries)
> Population (2018): 12.4 million
> Life expectancy at birth in 2017: 60.7 years

Despite a vast wealth of mineral resources, Guinea ranks among the poorest countries in the world. With a lack of economic diversity and complexity of the kind commonly seen in wealthier nations, nearly 70% of Guinea’s exports in 2017 were mineral products like aluminium ore and petroleum gas. In recent years, Guinea’s economy has been strained by an influx of refugees from Liberia and Sierra Leone.