The Top 5 Poorest Countries in the World (CIA Factbook)

  Country Per Capita GDP (ppp)
(US dollars)
1 Democratic Republic of Congo $300
2 Burundi $300
3 Liberia $500
4 Somalia $600
5 Niger $700
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  1. According to Global Finance Magazine: there are two standard methods of measuring the wealth of countries and how rich or poor its inhabitants are. The measure most often used is Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which represents the size of a country's economy. A refinement of this is per-capita GDP, which is a measure of the average welfare and affluence, or poverty, of residents of a country. However, GDP and per-capita GDP are less useful when comparing economies across national boundaries - which one must do to determine the poorest countries in the world - because GDP is expressed in a country's local currency. The measure that most economists prefer is GDP at purchasing power parity. GDP (PPP) compares generalized differences in living standards on the whole between nations because PPP takes into account the relative cost of living and the inflation rates of countries, rather than using just exchange rates, which may distort the real differences in income.
  2. In 1960, the 20% of the world's people who live in the richest countries had 30 times the income of the poorest 20%; by 1995 it was 82 times. The world's 225 richest people have a combined wealth of over $1million million. Only four per cent of this wealth - $40 billion - would be enough for basic education and health-care, adequate food and safe water and sanitation for all the world's people.
  3. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. If current trends continue, 45 million children will die between 2005 and 2015, 247 million people in sub-Saharan Africa will be living on less than $1 a day in 2015, 97 million more children will still be out of school in 2015 and 53 million more people in the world will lack proper sanitation facilities.
  4. The sums that rich countries invested in global poverty reduction in 2005 were very small. At an average of $80 per person per year in rich countries, the sum was equivalent to the price of a weekly cup of coffee. What is more, the wealthier these countries became, the less they have given in aid. Rich countries give half as much, as a proportion of their income, as they did in the 1960s. In 1960-65, rich countries spent on average 0.48 per cent of their combined national incomes on aid. By 1980-85 they were spending just 0.34 per cent. By 2003, the average had dropped as low as 0.24 per cent.
  5. According to the Oxfam International report, meeting the UN target of allocating just 0.7 per cent of national income to aid - a target set in 1970 - would generate $120 billion (USD), enough to meet the Millennium Development Goals and other vital poverty reduction goals. But only five of the 22 major donors - none of them from the seven most powerful nations (the G7) - are meeting that target. In 2005, the UK and Spain set themselves firm timetables to reach the target of 0.7. But 12 donors still have no timetable to get there, and many appear to be in no hurry: on current trends in spending, Canada will not reach the target until 2025, the USA will not reach it until 2040, and Germany will not get there before 2087. For rich countries, spending 0.7 per cent of their national income on aid is equal to a mere one-fifth of their expenditure on defence and one half of their expenditure on domestic farm subsidies. The USA (at just 0.14 per cent, the least generous donor in terms of aid as a proportion of its national income) is spending more than twice as much on the war in Iraq as it would cost to increase its aid budget to 0.7 per cent, and six times more on its military programme.
Top 5 facts sources:
  1. Global Finance. (2010). The Poorest Countries in the World. Retrieved November 15th, 2010.
  2. Shaohua Chen and Martin Ravallion. (2008). "The developing world is poorer than we thought, but no less successful in the fight against poverty." Retrieved November 15th, 2010.
  3. Oxfam International. (2005). "Paying the Price: Why rich countries must invest now in a war on poverty" Retrieved November 15th, 2010.
  4. List item 4
Tags: Business, Finance & Industry, Country Statistics, Low & Middle Income Countries

Sources:  CIA World Factbook 2010

List Notes: This list is based on gross national product purchasing power parity GDP(PPP). Purchasing power parity is a method of measuring the relative purchasing power of different countries currencies over the same types of goods and services. Because goods and services may cost more in one country than in another, PPP allows statisticians to make more accurate comparisons of standards of living across different countries. Figures are in US dollars fo4r the year 2009.

Please note: different sources often have different information or different rankings of the Top 5 Poorest Countries (The IMF, World Bank and the CIA Factbook all released figures on this subject). This list is based on information gained from the CIA Factbook and is calculated according to their method of showing GDP on a purchasing power parity basis divided by population as of 1 July for the same year.
Poorest Countries in the World (CIA Factbook)

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