Mapped: The 25 Poorest Countries in the World
Having looked at the richest countries in the world, which nations are at the bottom of the list in terms of GDP per capita, in nominal terms?
This map looks at the world’s 25 poorest countries by this metric.
|Country||GDP per capita (USD)|
|🇸🇸 South Sudan||$303.15|
|🇨🇩 Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)||$456.89|
|🇨🇫 Central African Republic||$480.50|
|🇸🇱 Sierra Leone||$518.47|
|🇬🇲 The Gambia||$746.33|
|🇧🇫 Burkina Faso||$768.83|
All but four of these countries are located on the African continent.
Additionally, all of the 25 poorest countries, with the exception of Zimbabwe and Tajikistan, are considered Least Developed Countries (LDCs) by the UN. LDCs are categorized by criteria based on per capita income, human assets (such as education level), and economic vulnerability. Today, more than 75% of the population in LDCs live below the poverty line.
For added perspective, the average GDP per capita of all developing economies and emerging markets globally is $5,172.
Developing countries, while having much smaller economies, have one thing that the richest countries don’t have: immense room for economic growth.
Most of the poorest countries’ strongest industries are agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and so on, and the world is heavily reliant on the flow of raw materials and resources coming from developing nations.
Focusing on the African countries listed, the economic potential is significant. Africa’s infrastructure is currently improving at a rapid rate, opening the door for foreign direct investment and increased capacity for industrialization. In large part, this progress is thanks to China’s Belt and Road initiative and investment in multiple African countries.
Another signal of Africa’s potential is the extremely large share of young people on the continent. Here’s a look at the five countries in the world with the highest shares of their population aged younger than 15, all of which are in Africa:
- 🇳🇪 Niger: 49.8%
- 🇲🇱 Mali: 47.3%
- 🇹🇩 Chad: 46.8%
- 🇦🇴 Angola: 46.6%
- 🇺🇬 Uganda: 46.5%
In Niger, an astounding near half of the population is under the age of 15 years old. This could translate into a large future workforce, a growing domestic market, and potential for innovation and economic progress.
Overall, while today the poorest countries still have extremely low standards of living, the economic potential is there for future growth.
How Does the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Invest Its Money?
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is funded by a trust that has a portfolio value of over $25 billion. Here’s how it invests its assets.
How Does the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Invest Its Money?
Bill and Melinda Gates have announced they are ending their marriage, but will continue to work together at their foundation.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, launched in 2000, is the largest private philanthropic organization in the United States. It has spent over $50 billion on global public health over the last two decades, including $1.75 billion on COVID-19 relief.
Of course, the foundation’s assets are managed by a trust until they are ready to be distributed to grantees. Here’s a look at how the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Trust invests its assets.
The Portfolio Breakdown
The trust has invested 100% of its holdings in stocks. It holds almost half of its value in Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company run by Warren Buffett.
|Stock||Value||% of Portfolio|
|Canadian National Railway||$1.9B||7.2%|
|Liberty Latin America||$14M||0.1%|
However, the portfolio is more diversified than initially meets the eye—Berkshire Hathaway itself is invested in almost 50 stocks.
Shrodinger, a healthcare-focused software company that makes up 2% of the trust’s total portfolio, was one of the best performing stocks of 2020 by price returns. The portfolio has also been boosted by delivery companies UPS and FedEx, both of which saw their share prices more than double over the last year as online shopping took off.
While the trust is dominated by U.S.-domiciled companies, a few foreign names do make the list. For example, Canadian National Railway makes up over 7% of the portfolio, while the Latin American bottler Coca-Cola FEMSA makes up just over 1%.
The Future of the Foundation
The trust continues to be managed by a team of outside investment managers, whose decisions have a critical impact on the amount of money the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has to fund its initiatives. For example, if Berkshire Hathaway were to dip 10%, this would drop the portfolio value by more than $1 billion.
In addition, the foundation is funded in part by the Gates’ personal donations—more than $36 billion from 1994 to 2018. Should Bill and Melinda go on to create their own separate philanthropic efforts post-divorce, the foundation may have a smaller portfolio to pull from going forward.
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How Media Consumption Has Changed Over the Last Decade (2011-2021)
The media consumption landscape in 2021 is shifting. Time spent on media continues to spike, with mobile challenging for the top spot
Media Consumption in 2021
There are a wide array of apps and life hacks out there designed to help regulate personal internet use and media consumption, but the data suggests they haven’t been working. Today, we consume more media than at any point in time in the last decade.
This data from Recode looks at how many minutes U.S. adults spend on various forms of media, comparing mobile, desktop, radio, television, and magazines.
How Many Minutes are Spent on Media?
In 2021, collective media consumption continues its upward trajectory, and is set to be at the highest it’s ever been. In 2021, overall media consumption among U.S. adults is estimated to be around 666 minutes per day, or 11.1 hours—a 20.2% increase from 2011.
Although media consumption has grown overall, this is predominantly driven by mobile usage. In fact, every category with the exception of mobile has shrunk from their respective peaks. Mobile on the other hand, has grown a whopping 460% in 10 years, from an average daily use of 45 minutes to a staggering 252 minutes.
Consumption by Generation
Disparities in media consumption have a generational aspect that’s worth noting, as well. For instance, older Americans like Baby Boomers still consume media routinely through television. On the other hand, younger cohorts like Millennials and Gen Z tend to consume more through mobile.
Increasing internet use has come with criticism, and is said to be partially responsible for our waning attention spans. With only 1,440 minutes in a day, it remains unknown exactly how many minutes we will continue to direct towards mobile use. But with figures growing 9% last year, we may not have yet reached the peak.
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