> GNI per capita: $1,593
> 2018 GDP: $5.3 billion (159th out of 208 countries)
> Population (2018): 7.9 million
> Life expectancy at birth in 2017: 60.5 years
Since gaining independence from France in 1960, the West African nation of Togo has struggled with economic development. Like most poor countries, Togo relies heavily on agriculture — both commercial and subsistence.
Though foreign investment in the country has slowed in recent years, Togo’s economy grew by 5.0% in 2017, driven by infrastructure investment and its mineral industry. Mineral products like petroleum and calcium phosphate accounted for over 40% of the country’s exports in 2017.
9. Sierra Leone
> GNI per capita: $1,360
> 2018 GDP: $4.0 billion (164th out of 208 countries)
> Population (2018): 7.7 million
> Life expectancy at birth in 2017: 53.9 years
Sierra Leone’s $4.0 billion economy is smaller than that of many other countries home to much smaller populations. As in other poor countries, Sierra Leone’s economy is heavily dependent on farming. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing accounts for over 60% of the country’s GDP, the largest share of any country in the world.
Outside of farming, the country, which is still recovering from a devastating civil war that ended in 2002, also relies on its mineral resources. Its chief exports are iron ore, titanium ore, and diamonds.
> GNI per capita: $1,339
> 2018 GDP: $12.1 billion (138th out of 208 countries)
> Population (2018): 26.3 million
> Life expectancy at birth in 2017: 66.3 years
Madagascar has a GNI per capita of just $1,339, less than 1/40th that of the United States. The island nation off the eastern coast of Africa has a population of 26 million. The country is largely agriculture based, with agriculture employing over 80% of the population. Madagascar has substantial natural resources, but these remain relatively untapped.
> GNI per capita: $1,154
> 2018 GDP: $14.5 billion (128th out of 208 countries)
> Population (2018): 29.5 million
> Life expectancy at birth in 2017: 59.3 years
In the years following 1975 — when Mozambique gained independence — development was hamstrung by economic mismanagement and a decade and a half long civil war. Though the 2011 discovery of gas fields along the country’s coast may soon usher in a new era of prosperity for Mozambique, it currently ranks among the poorest countries in the world.
GNI per capita in Mozambique is just $1,154. Around the world, people living in poverty tend to have far shorter life expectancies than average. Mozambique is one of just 14 countries where life expectancy at birth is less than 60 years.
> GNI per capita: $1,149
> 2018 GDP: $7.1 billion (150th out of 208 countries)
> Population (2018): 18.1 million
> Life expectancy at birth in 2017: 63.3 years
Malawi’s economy is heavily dependent on farming. Agriculture, forestry, and fishing accounts for over a quarter of the country’s GDP. Meanwhile, tobacco alone accounts for over 70% of the country’s exports. Economic development has been hampered in the East African country by government corruption and disease. Malawi has been among the countries hardest hit by HIV/AIDS, and more than a million children in the country are orphans due to the disease. The country’s GNI per capita of $1,149 is lower than that of all but five other countries in the world.