World Affairs

Top 10 Poorest Countries in Asia | Weak Countries

poorest countries in Asia

Asia is the largest continent on Earth, where over 17.2 million square miles (44.58 square kilometers) and home to over 4.5 billion people. Earth’s total land area as a whole amount to about 30% of its total surface area. There are 48 countries in Asia, of which three are transcontinental and have some land in Europe. Asia has many countries that are not as prosperous. Below is a list of the poorest countries in Asia.

Based on GDP per capita, these are the poorest countries in Asia. The average GDP per capita in a country reflects the average wealth of its residents.

1. North Korea

With a per capita GDP of $651, North Korea is the poorest country in Asia. In North Korea, poverty is a result of poor governance by the totalitarian regime. In North Korea, the free market is virtually nonexistent. According to estimates, about 60% of North Korea’s population lives below the poverty line.

2. Nepal

Nepal is second among the poorest countries in Asia. The country has a GDP of $718 per capita. Poverty in Nepal is a result of political instability, corruption, a lack of industry, and a reliance on agriculture. Although Nepal is rich in natural resources, it hasn’t taken advantage of and capitalized on those resources by selling them to other countries.

3. Tajikistan

Tajikistan is the third poorest country in Asia, with a GDP per capita just above Nepal’s $729. Tajikistan’s economy is further stagnated by a lack of infrastructure. Tajikistan has one of the largest remittance economies in the world because skilled workers leave the country to seek better employment opportunities. Moreover, the civil war in Tajikistan destroyed about one-fifth of schools, robbing children of the right to receive an education, a key means of reducing poverty.

4. Yemen

The GDP per capita in Yemen is $851. The Human Development Index (HDI) places Yemen 168th out of 177 countries, meaning it is one of the world’s least-developed nations. Meanwhile, Yemen’s poverty results from its civil war, corruption, and poor economic management. Yemen is experiencing a civil war that has caused an increase in poverty among its citizens. The country has a 79% poverty rate, and 65% are extremely poor.

5. Kyrgyzstan

According to the World Bank, Kyrgyzstan has the fifth poorest GDP in Asia, with $1,004 per capita. The gross national income (GNI) of Kyrgyzstan is the second-lowest in Europe and Central Asia; 32% of its population lives below the poverty line. Agriculture, knowledge, and resources gaps are the leading causes of poverty in Kyrgyzstan. The country also has few natural resources and can export only cotton and tobacco to the rest of the world. As well, there are no banks or financial services in the country, which makes it difficult for people to invest and hinders economic growth.

6. Cambodia

The GDP per capita in Cambodia is $1,197. In addition to being the sixth poorest country in Asia, Cambodia has wide income inequality. Its recent economic achievements have not been enough to lift millions out of poverty, and there has been little government effort to build the infrastructure required to do so.

7. Myanmar

Seventh on the list of Asia’s poorest countries is Myanmar. Myanmar has a per capita GDP of $1,207, slightly higher than Cambodia. In rural areas, where about 70% of the population resides, poverty is twice as high as in urban areas. Weak government planning, internal unrest, a large trade deficit, lack of foreign investment, and inadequate infrastructure are some sources of slow economic growth.

8. Syria

Syria, with a GDP per capita of $1,266, is the eighth poorest country in Asia. As of 2017, 80% of Syrians live at or below the poverty line, a 45% increase from 2007. During Syria’s civil war, poverty rose sharply. The conflict has destroyed health care facilities and educational institutions. Syria’s conflict has made it impossible for about half of Syrian children to attend school. Education is one of the best ways to escape poverty. Recent years have also seen Syria experiencing very high levels of inflation, a level of 121.29% in 2014 reaching its highest point.

9. Pakistan

Asia’s ninth poorest nation is Pakistan. With a per capita GDP of $1,279, Pakistan is the second-poorest country in the world following Syria. Though the country has abundant natural resources, this is still the case. The Pakistani government is corrupt and elitist, there is religious and secular conflict, and democratic ideals are lacking. In addition to its defense spending, the country spends only 2.6% of its GDP on education. About half of the country’s population is illiterate because of this.

10. India

The ten poorest countries in Asia are rounded out by India, which has a GDP per capita of $1,637. While India’s economy is the fifth-largest in the world in terms of GDP, almost one-quarter of its population (269 million) lives below the poverty line. The main causes of poverty in India are illiteracy, gender discrimination, unequal distribution of wealth, and the growing population.

Also Read: 10 Best Countries in the World | List of Countries Rank

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