Low Income Countries

Updated: July 2024

  • Data is combined for the most significant 21 countries to represent the Low Income Countries group. The Low Income designation is defined by the World Bank as all countries with a gross national income per capita less than $1,036.
  • This group of countries accounted for 1.1% of Global GDP in 2023, and 1.2% of global GDP growth in the past 10 years (2013-2023).
  • The Low Income Countries are home to over 600 million people with an average life expectancy of 61 years and a current median age of 17, against a global average of 30.


 
ECONOMICS
 
GDP DATA QUALITY

Data Quality Ratings are derived from scores in five areas: Base year recency; System of National Accounts framework version; Informal economy size; Statistical resources available; and likelihood of Government interference. Scores are based on a 0-100 scale. Read more...

The percentages in the table below show how the number of countries in each region score on a scale of A-E, e.g. 4% of African countries publish grade B quality GDP data. The percentages for each sub-region are the splits within the region. (All rows sum to 100).


GDP Data Quality Ratings
Grade: A = Good as it gets -> E = Extremely poor quality
      GDP Data Quality Rating Grades
      A B C D E
+   GLOBAL NORTH   51% 32% 9% 8% 0%
+   GLOBAL SOUTH   2% 14% 25% 26% 33%

+   DEVELOPED MARKETS   100% 0% 0% 0% 0%
+   EMERGING MARKETS   17% 42% 25% 17% 0%
+   FRONTIER MARKETS   7% 29% 32% 14% 18%

+   HIGH INCOME COUNTRIES   61% 30% 5% 5% 0%
+   MIDDLE INCOME COUNTRIES   0% 19% 30% 31% 20%
+   LOW INCOME COUNTRIES   0% 0% 21% 21% 58%

+   BOTTOM BILLION   0% 2% 22% 27% 49%
Click the regions to drill down into the data


Data Notes
Data Quality Index numbers shown on a scale of 0-100.
         0 = Poor, 100 = Excellent.

Rating definitions:
         A: As good as it gets
         B: Good
         C: Use with caution
         D: Poor
         E: Extremely poor quality

The index calculations and displayed data are derived from the most current and up-to-date source data available.
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GDP SIZE

GDP Size data is shown in Purchasing Power Parity terms with added estimates for the size of the informal economy and adjustments for out-of-date GDP base year data.

The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) column shows the growth rate for the region on that line as a whole over the past decade.


Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
GDP PPP, Int$: 2023
      GDP 2013
(Billions, Int$)
GDP 2023
(Billions, Int$)
Share of
Global GDP(%, 2023)
+   GLOBAL NORTH   $77,317.8 $93,844.0 45.5%
+   GLOBAL SOUTH   $68,398.6 $109,746.4 53.3%

+   DEVELOPED MARKETS   $55,686.4 $66,731.4 32.4%
+   EMERGING MARKETS   $64,719.6 $103,255.7 50.1%
+   FRONTIER MARKETS   $8,788.0 $13,929.9 6.8%

+   HIGH INCOME COUNTRIES   $63,677.7 $77,488.6 37.6%
+   MIDDLE INCOME COUNTRIES   $74,880.2 $116,657.5 56.6%
+   LOW INCOME COUNTRIES   $1,498.8 $2,205.7 1.1%

+   BOTTOM BILLION   $7,890.3 $11,577.5 5.6%
Click the regions to drill down into the data


Data Notes
GDP in Purchasing Power Parity terms with added estimates for the size of the informal economy and adjustments for out-of-date GDP base year data, produced by World Economics.

Share of Global GDP expressed as a percentage of the sum of GDP for all countries in the World Economics database.

GDP PPP data in constant 2021 prices, latest data update: June 2024.

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GDP GROWTH

Compound Annual Growth Rates (CAGR) are derived from GDP Data in Purchasing Power Parity terms with added estimates for the size of the informal economy and adjustments for out-of-date GDP base year data.

The GDP Data ha sbeen developed by World Economics using World Bank PPP data, IMF growth rates and World Economics research into base year uplifts and the informal economy size..


Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) & Share of Global GDP Growth
GDP PPP for 2013-2023
      10-Year CAGR
(2013-2023)
5-Year CAGR
(2018-2023)
3-Year CAGR
(2020-2023)
Share of GDP Growth
(2013-2023)
+   GLOBAL NORTH   2.1% 1.7% 3.6% 28.3%
+   GLOBAL SOUTH   6.0% 4.2% 6.0% 70.7%

+   DEVELOPED MARKETS   2.0% 1.5% 3.6% 18.9%
+   EMERGING MARKETS   6.0% 4.3% 6.2% 65.9%
+   FRONTIER MARKETS   5.9% 3.6% 4.8% 8.8%

+   HIGH INCOME COUNTRIES   2.2% 1.7% 3.6% 23.6%
+   MIDDLE INCOME COUNTRIES   5.6% 4.0% 5.8% 71.5%
+   LOW INCOME COUNTRIES   4.7% 2.6% 2.7% 1.2%

+   BOTTOM BILLION   4.7% 3.3% 4.0% 6.3%
Click the regions to drill down into the data


Data Notes
Data Quality Index numbers shown on a scale of 0-100.
         0 = Poor, 100 = Excellent.

Grade definitions:
         A: As good as it gets
         B: Good
         C: Use with caution
         D: Poor
         E: Extremely poor quality


GDP in Purchasing Power Parity terms with added estimates for the size of the informal economy and adjustments for out-of-date GDP base year data.

Share of Global GDP Growth expressed as a percentage of the sum of GDP for all countries in the World Economics database.

Displayed data and calculations are based on the latest data available to end of year 2023.
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GDP PER CAPITA

The table below shows GDP per Capita (a proxie for Wealth). The data uses is the World Economics GDP database with population data sourced from the United Nations Population Prospects database.


GDP Per Capita
GDP PPP for 2013-2023
      GDP per Capita
2013
(Int$)
GDP per Capita
2023
(Int$)
GDP per Capita
Change
(2013-2023)
GDP per Capita
CAGR
(2013-2023)
+   GLOBAL NORTH   $47,583 $57,754 21.4% 2.1%
+   GLOBAL SOUTH   $11,259 $18,066 60.5% 6.0%

+   DEVELOPED MARKETS   $57,497 $68,901 19.8% 2.0%
+   EMERGING MARKETS   $15,170 $24,202 59.5% 6.0%
+   FRONTIER MARKETS   $8,102 $12,843 58.5% 5.9%

+   HIGH INCOME COUNTRIES   $55,204 $67,177 21.7% 2.2%
+   MIDDLE INCOME COUNTRIES   $13,429 $20,921 55.8% 5.6%
+   LOW INCOME COUNTRIES   $2,471 $3,637 47.2% 4.7%

+   BOTTOM BILLION   $5,722 $8,396 46.7% 4.7%

Click the regions to drill down into the data


Data Notes
GDP per capita derived from World Economics GDP data for 2013-2023 measured in PPP Int$ terms, with added estimates for the Informal economy and adjustments for Base Year age.

Population data sourced from the United Nations Population Prospects database.

Displayed data and calculations are based on the latest data year: 2023.
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DEMOGRAPHY
 
POPULATION DATA QUALITY

The Population Data Quality Rating is derived from three factors: a country's latest Census Year; its Capacity for producing statistical data; and its Registration of Births data. Read more...

The percentages in the table below show how the number of countries in each region score on a scale of A-E, e.g. 4% of African countries publish grade B quality population data. The percentages for each sub-region are the splits within the region. (All rows sum to 100).


Population Data Quality Ratings
Grade: A = Good as it gets -> E = Extremely poor quality
      Data Quality Rating Grades
      A B C D E
+   GLOBAL NORTH   34% 40% 17% 8% 2%
+   GLOBAL SOUTH   11% 10% 22% 27% 30%

+   DEVELOPED MARKETS   43% 43% 13% 0% 0%
+   EMERGING MARKETS   46% 38% 12% 4% 0%
+   FRONTIER MARKETS   14% 7% 39% 25% 14%

+   HIGH INCOME COUNTRIES   39% 34% 23% 5% 0%
+   MIDDLE INCOME COUNTRIES   15% 18% 20% 27% 20%
+   LOW INCOME COUNTRIES   0% 0% 16% 21% 63%

+   BOTTOM BILLION   2% 2% 12% 32% 51%
Click the regions to drill down into the data


Data Notes
Data Quality Index numbers shown on a scale of 0-100.
         0 = Poor, 100 = Excellent.

Rating definitions:
         A: As good as it gets
         B: Good
         C: Use with caution
         D: Poor
         E: Extremely poor quality

The index calculations and displayed data are derived from the most current and up-to-date source data available.
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Related Insights
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Population Profile

World Economics has collated key demographic data for in the tables below.

The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) column shows the growth rate for the region on that line as a whole over the past decade.


Population Size & Growth

      Population
2013
(Millions)
Population
2023
(Millions)
CAGR
(2013-2023, %)
+   GLOBAL NORTH   1,566.6 1,624.9 0.4%
+   GLOBAL SOUTH   5,346.1 6,074.8 1.4%

+   DEVELOPED MARKETS   930.7 968.5 0.4%
+   EMERGING MARKETS   3,940.9 4,266.4 0.8%
+   FRONTIER MARKETS   895.8 1,084.7 2.1%

+   HIGH INCOME COUNTRIES   1,100.3 1,153.5 0.5%
+   MIDDLE INCOME COUNTRIES   5,065.0 5,576.1 1.0%
+   LOW INCOME COUNTRIES   447.6 606.4 3.5%

+   BOTTOM BILLION   1,057.7 1,379.0 3.0%




      Average
Life Expectancy
(Years)
Average
Median Age
(Years)
Average
Fertility Rate
(%)
Average
Age Dependency
(Total, %)
+   GLOBAL NORTH   77.9 39.3 1.6% 53.9%
+   GLOBAL SOUTH   67.7 24.5 3.0% 62.5%

+   DEVELOPED MARKETS   82.3 41.1 1.5% 55.5%
+   EMERGING MARKETS   74.9 34.0 1.8% 43.9%
+   FRONTIER MARKETS   69.5 28.1 3.0% 63.6%

+   HIGH INCOME COUNTRIES   80.2 39.2 1.6% 50.5%
+   MIDDLE INCOME COUNTRIES   69.1 27.1 2.5% 57.7%
+   LOW INCOME COUNTRIES   61.0 17.1 4.7% 85.2%

+   BOTTOM BILLION   62.3 19.0 4.1% 77.6%
Click the regions to drill down into the data


Data Notes
Data sources:
The displayed data are derived from the most current and up-to-date source data available.
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GOVERNANCE
 
GOVERNANCE RATINGS

The Governance Index combines data on Rule of Law, Press Freedom, Political Rights and Corruption Perceptions. The individual Indexes are combined using equal weights to form the Governance Index.

The percentages in the table below show how the number of countries in each region score on a scale of A-E, e.g. 26% of Low Income countries attain grade C governance levels. The percentages for each sub-region are the splits within the region. (All rows sum to 100).


Governance Ratings
Index: 0 = Extremely poor, 100 = Good as it gets
      Governance Rating
      A B C D E
+   GLOBAL NORTH   53% 26% 6% 4% 11%
+   GLOBAL SOUTH   2% 14% 28% 30% 26%

+   DEVELOPED MARKETS   83% 17% 0% 0% 0%
+   EMERGING MARKETS   17% 17% 33% 25% 8%
+   FRONTIER MARKETS   14% 11% 25% 29% 21%

+   HIGH INCOME COUNTRIES   57% 30% 5% 7% 2%
+   MIDDLE INCOME COUNTRIES   0% 19% 28% 24% 28%
+   LOW INCOME COUNTRIES   0% 0% 26% 42% 32%

+   BOTTOM BILLION   0% 2% 29% 37% 32%
Click the regions to drill down into the data


Data Notes
Index numbers are all rebased and shown on a scale of 0-100.
Governance: 0 = Extremely poor governance, 100 = As good as it gets.
Corruption Perception: 0 = Bad, 100 = Good.
Rule of Law: 0 = low rule of law, 100 = High rule of law.
Press Freedom: 0 = Low press freedom, 100 = High press freedom.
Political Rights: 0 = Low political rights, 100 = High political rights.

Source: World Bank (Rule of Law), RSF (Press Freedom), Freedom House (Political Rights), Transparency International (Corruption Perceptions).

All source data has been re-indexed on a scale of 0-100 for comparison purposes.

The displayed data are derived from 2023 data sources.
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