According to the World Bank, the citizens of Luxembourg, Qatar, Norway, Singapore and Switzerland enjoy some of the highest household average salaries in the world. Luxembourg, for example, has an annual average salary of $91,388. On a monthly basis, that amounts to $7,615.67.
Contrast it to the poorest countries in the world. The monthly average income in Luxembourg is more than 18 times the annual average salary in the Democratic Republic of Congo. That is how huge the gap is between the richest and the poorest.
So while those in the rich countries are concerned about where to go on their next vacation or what luxury car to purchase, or are concerned about the ever increasing tax rate that may put a dent on their substantial savings, the citizens of the poorest countries try to pool enough resources to be able to eat decently even just once a day. Here is a list of the top 10 countries with the lowest household average salary.
10. Togo – $1,051
Togo is a country in West Africa with a population of 6.7 million. The capital is in Lome. It is one of the smallest countries in the continent and is highly dependent on the agricultural sector. Its main language is French, as France ruled the country from the end of the First World War until 1960. Its main exports are cocoa beans, cement clinkers and gold powder.
9. Mozambique – $1,024
Mozambique is a country in Southeast Africa with a population of almost 24 million. The capital is in Maputo. Its official language is Portuguese. It relies heavily on South Africa for investments and trade. The country has a generous supply of natural resources and while the economy is largely agricultural in nature, it also has a growing chemical manufacturing, aluminum and petroleum production sectors. Though it experienced decent growth in the 2000’s, it still ranks low in human development and inequality.
8. Madagascar – $978
Madagascar is a country in Southeast Africa with a population of 22 million. Its capital city is Antananarivo. It had a constitutional democracy in place back in the 1990’s and 2000’s, but a popular uprising in 2009 ended with a coup that forced the elected president to resign. The country at that time had been experiencing some growth, but it failed to trickle down to a population in which up to 90 percent was living in poverty.
7. Malawi – $902
Malawi is a country in Southeast Africa with a population of 16.7 million. Its capital city is Lilongwe. It is one of the least-developed countries in the world with a largely rural population and an economy heavily dependent on agriculture. HIV/AIDS is prevalent, and its citizens have low life expectancies and its infants have a high mortality rate.
6. Central African Republic – $857
The Central African Republic is a country in Central Africa with a population of 4.42 million. Its capital city is Bangui. The country actually has significant mineral and other resources, including uranium, crude oil, gold, diamonds, lumber and hydropower. The Bush War of 2004 to 2007 and the conflict of 2012 to 2013 have virtually erased governance in the country, with its prime minister admitting that the Central African Republic is a non-state beset by anarchy.
5. Niger – $665
Niger is a country in West Africa with a population of 17.1 million. Its capital city is Niamey. It has a mostly subsistence economy, as the country is hampered by a lack of access to the sea, desert terrain, poor education, widespread poverty, lack of infrastructure, poor health care and environmental degradation. Even the remaining non-desert portions are constantly threatened by periodic drought and even desertification.
4. Liberia – $655
Liberia is a country in West Africa with a population of 3.7 million. The capital city is in Monrovia. The country had a long history of political and economic instability highlighted by two successive civil wars. It devastated the economy and led to the deaths of around 250,000 people. The conflicts finally ended in 2003 and elections held in 2005. Still, up to 85 percent of its population live below the poverty line.
3. Eritrea – $566
Eritrea is a country in the Horn of Africa with a population of 6 million. Its capital city is Asmara. It used to be a part of Ethiopia until it gained its independence in 1991. It actually experienced substantial growth the past few years, though most of it could be attributed to the remittances of workers from abroad. Some estimates put it as high as around a third of the value of the country’s gross domestic product. Still, the rate has been impressive and it is considered one of the fastest growing economies. The country hopes to be able to utilize efficiently its resources of gold, copper, granite, potash and marble.
2. Burundi – $560
Burundi is a country in East Africa with a population of 8.75 million. The capital city is in Bujumbura. The country is considered as the least globalized in the world in 2012. It is one of the poorest countries in the world, with a low per capita income, dense population, and high prevalence of the deadly HIV/AIDS virus. Its citizens are also poorly educated and the country has generally suffered from years of warfare and government corruption.
1. Democratic Republic of Congo – $422
The Democratic Republic of Congo is a country in Central Africa with a population of 75 million. Its capital city is Kinshasa. It is considered as the fourth most populous nation in the continent and the most populous Francophone country. It was ravaged by the Second Congo War of 1998 that saw it become a battleground of 20 armed groups and nine African nations. The war displaced a huge number of people, resulting in the spread of various diseases that would have been preventable and treatable had it not been for the war. Malnutrition is still prevalent and the mortality rate is high.