Posted by: standing_baba | March 11, 2010

Poorest Countries in Western Hemisphere

FOREWORD: (Puno, Peru) The following was cut-and-pasted from Yahoo! Answers, with only slight grammatical corrections as the author seems to be a non-native English speaker. I was curious to see where Bolivia fell, statistically speaking, on the western hemisphere’s list of economic have-nots. Below was the most all-inclusive answer I could find online. I’m not necessarily trying to make a point, not yet anyway. These are the numbers; this is the reality. Just thought I’d share.


The wealth of the countries is measured by per capita GDP, meaning the total economy of the country is divided by its population. But that’s not enough to evaluate which country is the poorest. We have to consider also the percentage of population suffering from undernourishment by using the Human Development Index (HDI). To make my list I had to make various sub-lists:

TOP 10 Poorest Countries by per capita GDP [according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF)]:

1. Haiti: $1,317

2. Nicaragua: $2,698

3. Guyana: $4,029

4. Honduras: $4,275

5. Bolivia: $4,365

6. Paraguay: $4,786

7. Guatemala: $4,907

8. El Salvador: $7,564

9. Ecuador: $7,786

10. Belize: $7,894

TOP 10 Poorest Countries by % of Population Suffering from Undernourishment [according to Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO)]:

1. Haiti: 47%

2. Dominican Republic: 27%

3. Nicaragua: 27%

4. Panama: 25%

5. Bolivia: 23%

6. Guatemala: 23%

7. Honduras: 22%

8. Venezuela: 18%

9. Paraguay: 15%

10. Colombia: 14%

TOP 10 Poorest Countries by HDI (according to the United Nations 2009):

1. Haiti: 0.532

2. Nicaragua: 0.699

3. Guatemala: 0.703

4. Bolivia: 0.729

5. Guyana: 0.729

6. Honduras: 0.732

7. El Salvador: 0.747

8. Paraguay: 0.761

9. Jamaica: 0.766

10. Suriname: 0.769

Taking into consideration the above lists, we can conclude that the following is the real list for the TOP 10 Poorest Countries in the Western Hemisphere:

1. Haiti

2. Nicaragua

3. Guyana

4. Bolivia

5. Honduras

6. Guatemala

7. Paraguay

8. El Salvador

9. Suriname

10. Belize


  1. I had no idea Nicaragua was that poor. It’s such a beautiful country. It has potential. What a shame! –7/18/2013

    • Why be ashamed? Not all of us can be kings, queens and subjects. Every poor country has potential but needs good governance, local and foreign investments thereby maintaining a favorable balance of trade. But the interesting fact of the whale economies is that they snuffle key resources out of the poorer countries leaving them with a thin margin of profits because of their sizable investments and other accrued temporary benefits like reduction price in a particular commodity/service. This can be seen in the countries with gold, diamond and even oil in some first world countries. Then those who have the capacity / resources to revolt will do so leading to conflict and even ongoing war as is evident.

      • Can’t find anything to disagree with here, except maybe that good governance sometimes isn’t even a remote possibility in some of these ‘poor’ countries due to ‘the whale economies” heavy influence, investment, and interests. But then again, I don’t really believe that any Federal-level US politician is any more honest to his/her constituents about the government’s true intentions or interests either. Misinformation wins elections. Anyway, thanks for the comment. This blog post was written many years ago. My outlook has changed and evolved in many ways. Here’s what I’m up to now:

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