5 – Liberia (GDP per capita of $454.30)
PovertyThe Second Liberian Civil war was a conflict within Liberia that lasted from 1999 all the way through 2003. A quick look at history will show that wars generally don’t leave involved nations economically intact as a result. Liberia is no exception to this. Having just been subject to a 14 year-long political conflict that not only ravaged lands, but also needed to make use of some of Liberia’s already finite resources, the nation was left economically crumbled by the civil war. It is also of no benefit that Liberia is, once again, primarily reliant on agriculture to drive its economy. The GDP per capita of the war-torn nation stands at $454.30, and in 2010, it was estimated that more than 80 percent of the nation’s people were living less with less than $1.25 per day. With low yields due to old farming technologies, as well as having overall poor infrastructure, Libera only marks the halfway point down this list of the poorest countries in the world.
Aside from being one of the world’s poorest, Niger stands as one of the world’s most underdeveloped nations across several categories. Although it continues to make developments in reducing infant mortality, and enhancing education, the development category of poverty has unfortunately remained rather stagnant, keeping the nation’s GDP per capita at $415.40. Niger’s economy is driven by two main forces: the extraction of valuable natural resources available within the nation (including gold, uranium, and even oil), and small-scale agriculture. Unfortunately, both of these economic sources can easily be devastated by random shifts in climate and weather, and thus Niger has struggled in developing themselves economically.