Countries with the Most People in Extreme Poverty

Name the countries that have the greatest number of people living in extreme poverty.
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: October 5, 2021
First submittedJuly 8, 2017
Times taken44,333
Rating4.44
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#
%
Country
97.7 m
7
India
86.8 m
41
Nigeria
66.3 m
73
D. R. Congo
31.3 m
49
Tanzania
23.7 m
20
Ethiopia
22.4 m
80
Madagascar
19.6 m
63
Yemen
#
%
Country
19.5 m
60
Mozambique
18.1 m
37
Uganda
18.1 m
54
Venezuela
17.7 m
53
Angola
16.9 m
42
Afghanistan
16.2 m
27
South Africa
15.0 m
71
Malawi
#
%
Country
14.6 m
56
North Korea
12.3 m
86
South Sudan
11.4 m
59
Zambia
10.4 m
63
Somalia
10.3 m
41
Niger
9.36 m
79
Burundi
no data
 
Syria
+11
Level 34
Jul 24, 2019
Hello, this quiz is very outdated. It would be nice to try this with current data. Try to update it, please. World poverty clock might make a good source: https://worldpoverty.io/index.html
+11
Level ∞
Nov 4, 2019
Thanks for the suggestion. I like your source better than the World Bank data I was originally using.
+2
Level 67
Nov 4, 2019
This quiz is on the list of new and reset featured quizzes, so I was surprised to see that it does not offer points. I thought all featured quizzes offered points.
+2
Level ∞
Nov 5, 2019
It does offer points!
+15
Level 74
Nov 5, 2019
Interesting to see China not on here - but I live here. Also missed North Korea - focused too much on African countries.
+2
Level 38
Apr 26, 2020
China is ok i think
+27
Level 53
Jul 21, 2020
Ok in hiding facts.
+8
Level 72
Oct 1, 2021
I mean, with a booming economy it's not hard to see it have a low percentage in extreme poverty
+2
Level 85
Oct 4, 2021
You say it's a booming economy. Interesting timing considering the severe debt problems in companies like Evergrande. From what I see, their economy is most likely a house of cards with the communists running the show. WSJ, Bloomberg and others all talking about potential collapse. https://www.barrons.com/articles/china-evergrande-51633337535?refsec=asia
+7
Level 60
Oct 5, 2021
Ah well if the WSJ and Bloomberg say it then it must be true; what possible ideological incentive would they have to misrepresent something like that?
+4
Level 58
Oct 5, 2021
If you don't even understand that China has abandoned communism as a short-to-mid-term economic policy in the preceding several decades and are still using 1950s Red Scare rhetoric despite that you probably just shouldn't talk about it at all.
+11
Level 82
Nov 5, 2019
Knew a lot of people from many of these countries - mostly expat workers I met overseas when I was an expat worker myself. Some refugees and victims of human trafficking, as well. Often they're some of the nicest people you'll meet, despite always being vilified by the locals in whichever community they've settled in.

Visited India and Ethiopia. Had a nice time in the latter.

+4
Level 67
Apr 2, 2021
Just out of curiosity, is there a reason you didn't have a "nice" time in India? I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that--there are a lot of things about India that might make it somewhat unpalatable to foreigners, such as the pollution, poor sanitation, or crowdedness. But India also has plenty of absolutely gorgeous historical/cultural/natural attractions, and, as you alluded to, Indians are often very hospitable. I haven't been there myself, but it's on my bucket list (and I've been to Bangladesh which is a pretty similar experience).

I'm guessing Ethiopia has many of those same problems (although poorer and probably less crowded), and I know that you've traveled a lot so you might be more used to stuff like that than the average tourist. I'm just wondering what made the difference between the two.

+4
Level 82
Oct 1, 2021
I didn't say that I didn't have a nice time in India. But I did enjoy my trip to Ethiopia more. If there are things that I didn't particularly like about India it would include the pollution and poor sanitation, the bad infrastructure, and the fact that both my mother and I got deathly ill on the trip thanks for sure in part to the above. But I'm glad I got to go. I'll say this about the country, though: it's definitely not for novice travelers. Everything from securing visas, to arranging transportation, to avoiding hassles and scams once there... I could see dissuading less seasoned travelers from ever traveling anywhere again. There is a very long list of countries I'd advise people go to before India. But if you've been to Bangladesh and survived I'm sure you'd be fine there.
+3
Level 82
Oct 1, 2021
Ethiopia was indeed much less crowded, cleaner, prettier, didn't make me sick, presented fewer hassles and was just overall a better experience. And though some personified hangnail is going to wrongly interpret this as some kind of weird brag or sexism: I also found friendlier, more attractive women there. A lot of this is subjective, and some of it is random or the result of luck, I know. I spent fewer than 3 weeks both places. But... again... my comment above was not actually meant to imply that I had a bad time in India.

One other factor in my positive recollection of Ethiopia may be that, at the time I went to India, I had already spent a very substantial amount of time in Asia, including many years in the Middle East and SouthEast Asia, and there are a lot of similarities between India and places like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Bahrain. On the other hand, I've never visited any other sub-Saharan African country. So it was more of a novelty.

+2
Level 67
Oct 5, 2021
^Yeah, the pollution/sanitation is probably the #1 thing that bothers me about Bangladesh too. And yes, I've heard that it's difficult to get visas to India. My sister tried to get us Indian visas once and the process was long and arduous, and in the end we only got visas for 6 months (we ended up not going due to scheduling disruptions). It seems like their government tries anything it can to keep people from visiting.

Sorry to hear that you got sick--I've heard it happens to a lot of people. I'm glad to hear of your experiences though, and it makes sense.

+1
Level 44
Oct 8, 2021
To Kalbahamut's point - We see a lot of such things mostly coming from travellers on a shoestring budget who get exposed to the underbelly (which ALL the largest cities in the world have). Not surprising that a few people get ill because they really want to experience India in 10 dollars a day. Well for that, you get what you get. Cholera burgers and gastro pizza.

India is not cheap to live in. As a matter of fact, whenever I travel to the US with my family, we ensure that we take minimal luggage and buy both luggage and clothes / electronics etc. from there. Simply because it is so cheap compared to India.

In India, economy hotels start at 80 dollars a night although we have hotels starting at 10 dollars as well. So for those who want to stay at a dodgy hotel, the result will be dodgy as well. Please choose well. India has plenty to offer for everyone. Plus with Uber / Ola - why would anyone have a problem with transportation? And with so much available on the internet??

+1
Level 58
Oct 8, 2021
Absolutely. India is not a cheap country. You can have all the facilities you want, but it comes at a premium. You can't expect to do India, expecting it to be a cheap holiday like Thailand or Indonesia. You're gonna have a bad time otherwise.
+13
Level 83
Nov 5, 2019
Would it be possible to get a definition of what constitutes extreme poverty for the purposes of this quiz in the instructions please.
+4
Level 86
Nov 5, 2019
Most recently I have seen it as below $1.90 per day although this obviously varies with the value of money.
+2
Level 83
Sep 30, 2021
Still waiting, but in response to another comment here I see the quizmaster is mentioning $1.90 a day. Just state that at the top of the quiz please.
+2
Level 49
Oct 5, 2021
As kogatora replied, it is considered extreme poverty when the salary is $1.90 per day or lower, is the figure used by the UN and pretty much every other institution.

This quiz focuses on number of people not percentage so India with only 9% of its billion and a half people tops the list, but countries where most of the population is in extreme poverty are not shown because they don´t have as much total population, like Haiti or Cuba with just over 10 million people, where the income is regularly just below of just above the $1.90 per day line, in the case of Venezuela with 30 million people and over 50% extreme poverty you see it, and salaries are regularly $0.15 per day

+12
Level 84
Nov 5, 2019
I thought, "At last, a quiz with the Central African Republic as an answer!" But no...
+8
Level 72
Nov 5, 2019
Considering some of the countries on here and some of the ones NOT on here, these figures must be politicized. I mean, China, with 1.4 billion people, doesn't even have 7 million that meet the definition?
+10
Level 18
Nov 5, 2019
Chinas currently has 0.3 percent of its populations living with less than PPP equivalent of 1.90 Dollar. Absolute that translates to 4.2 million.
+3
Level 42
Nov 6, 2019
If this is true, that's insane.
+12
Level ∞
Jan 12, 2020
Why is that insane? $1.90 per day is almost nothing. The per-capita GDP of China is about 28 times that.
+2
Level 85
Oct 4, 2021
Well, there are somewhere around 12 million Uyghurs in China. I'm guessing a large percentage of them would be considered living in extreme poverty. It's likely this is simply another case of the CCP fudging their numbers.
+2
Level 58
Oct 5, 2021
Even the ones doing prison labor are still getting paid for it. Even here in the US, generally considered to have the worst prison conditions in the developed world (I know China doesn't quite count as that yet but they're on the threshold), we pay our prisoners more than the extreme poverty threshold for their labor.
+13
Level 46
Nov 6, 2019
Figures from China are notoriously questionable and frequently manipulated for political reasons...there are still PLENTY of very poor people in the western parts of China and many exploited workers from these regions who are working as indentured labour in factories in the east.
+6
Level 63
Jan 12, 2020
I agree. You'll see China in every "good" quiz and you'll never see China in any "bad" quiz.
+2
Level 47
Oct 5, 2021
Lol bro do you think random jetpunk quiz maker is paid off by the proc
+1
Level 45
Oct 8, 2021
you must be suffering from selective perception ~ from every "bad" quiz with a political viewpoint, China is most likely there
+3
Level 74
Jan 12, 2020
While that could be the case, $1.90 per day is very low. A lot of people in China who most would consider "very poor" might not actually fall under this definition of extreme poverty.
+3
Level ∞
Jan 12, 2020
The figures are probably accurate. All those exploited factory workers still make a lot more than $1.90 a day.
+1
Level 68
Jan 12, 2020
Syria not in the "top" 24 but South Africa is? Wow!
+2
Level 71
Feb 19, 2020
The missing Syria surprised me as well at first. But according to wikipedia, the estimated population in 2019 is about 17 million people. To become a part of the quiz, almost half of it should live in extreme poverty, which apparently and thankfully is not the case.
+3
Level 72
Oct 1, 2021
Well, Syria was the only one I missed. I'm not sure how one was supposed to get it, given that it had no data. (But if you're telling me that there are more Syrians than Bangladeshis or Pakistanis living in something called "extreme poverty" - by almost any criteria, I'm calling shenanigans.)
+3
Level 71
Jan 12, 2020
A truer list would be in % figures rather than numbers:
+13
Level 73
Jan 12, 2020
That would be a different list, not a "truer" one.
+5
Level 78
Jan 12, 2020
I agree with Malbaby that using percentages rather than total numbers might be a better indicator. Using total numbers it seems to me that countries with higher populations would be more likely to make the list. (But I'm no expert. Maybe someone who is could comment.)
+2
Level 67
Jan 12, 2020
Surprised Burundi is on here and very surprised no Haiti or Zimbabwe! Zimbabwe was was literally running out of money!
+1
Level 52
May 19, 2020
burundi is incredibly poor they are they have the lowestgdp per capita in the world
+1
Level 47
Apr 23, 2020
South Sudan :(
+6
Level 56
Jun 10, 2020
I wish this quiz didn’t have to exist
+1
Level 53
Oct 22, 2020
It doesn't have to...it just chose to exist.
+3
Level 29
Jul 3, 2020
Happy to see pakistan is not here, actually most pakistanis r well off, but some of them in far off areas are reallypoor
+2
Level 53
Jul 21, 2020
Thank India for 1971. ;)
+2
Level 67
Dec 28, 2020
Unfortunately, there's a lot that needs to be updated on this list. The pandemic and recession have not been very kind to many of these nations. According to World Poverty Clock, India alone has seen its number jump by almost 100 million, making it #1 on the list now.
+2
Level ∞
Dec 28, 2020
Oof. I'll update it in late 2021. Hopefully things will be better by then.
+7
Level ∞
Sep 30, 2021
Updated. Things didn't get better.

It's quite possible that the heavy-handed (and ineffective) pandemic response in India caused more misery than all the deaths from Covid everywhere in the world.

Allow me to get on my high horse for a second. When rich people in the western world die, it's a global tragedy. When literally 60 million people in India fall into a state of abject poverty and deprivation no one cares. Of course, the west didn't force India to take the path they did. The government of India has only itself to blame. But it's sad. And no one here in the U.S. even talks about it or cares at all. Instead we focus on trivial "first world" problems. If we spent even 1% of our massive, multi-trillion dollar Covid handouts on foreign aid, it could make a big difference.

+1
Level 74
Sep 30, 2021
I think a lot of people in the West care. I've seen enough poverty in the sub-continent never to want to see any more - but it would also help if India spent some of their $2 billion space program money on their own people (up 46% this pandemic year). There's a hint of a neo-colonial attitude in trying to load the results of their decisions onto the West's conscience.
+6
Level ∞
Oct 1, 2021
Oh, yeah, I agree. It's not the West's fault. India's terrible government is to blame for everything.

I just thing it's crazy that the U.S. is willing to spend trillions on Covid, much of it to enable people to not work and stay home watching TV, but yet our government spends almost nothing on humanitarian aid, even when it would do a lot of good.

And most European countries are the same. Canada and Australia are even worse.

I guess the Nordic countries still have decent priorities for the most part.

+5
Level 74
Oct 1, 2021
well, yes but you need a functioning economy to pay aid. Just looked and there's a quiz on this site re foreign aid and the USA is top, with the UK second - while China and Saudi Arabia seem to have forgotten where they left their wallets.

India repudiated UK aid about 10 years ago on the basis that $100s millions was "peanuts" to them. And all the time the Indian super-rich become super-richer while nearly 100 million of their people live in extreme poverty - so it's not just the Indian Govt which should be utterly ashamed.

+3
Level 62
Oct 1, 2021
The lockdown initiated in March 2020 was too long, too harsh and at a very short notice. It kind of worked in 2020 , with lesser that effected deaths. However, the mishandling and utter carelessness of the government in April 2021, led to a second wave , which negated any of the benefits of the first lockdown, and led to an economy shutdown for the second time. All of this combined with the 2016 demonetization, the poor rollout of a unified goods and service tax, and the everlasting corruption that is still present in the lower levels, has significantly reduced the poverty elimination rate.
+2
Level 62
Oct 1, 2021
Although extreme poverty has reduced considerably in the last 30 years , India has lagged behind other countries such as China in reducing poverty. The chief reason behind it is that our manufacturing sector never took off.

The economy until 1991 was completely socialist (It is still majorly socialist today) , all major industries were nationalized, and private capital was virtually nonexistent. Also, since it's independence India's economy has been Agriculture based. Agriculture today still employs 55% !!!! of the population , while making up only 14% of the GDP. This has led to high numbers of disguised unemployment . Even though Agriculture comprises a large portion of govt spending, it has still not modernized due to the refusal of farmers to modernize(any attempt at reform has been unsuccessful due to large protests). This prevent millions of agricultural families from coming out of poverty.

+2
Level 62
Oct 1, 2021
And even after economic liberalization in 1991, setting up industries in India is nightmare with unimaginable amount of corruption and environment regulations(which are very easily waived off for agriculture, as farmers form a large vote bank).
+2
Level 71
Sep 30, 2021
This quiz is otherwise known as "name the countries of sub-Saharan Africa"
+5
Level 85
Sep 30, 2021
Bangladesh must be rolling in some newfound dough.
+4
Level ∞
Oct 1, 2021
Bangladesh has actually been doing pretty well lately!

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.PCAP.PP.CD?locations=BD

+1
Level 67
Oct 5, 2021
Yay Bangladesh! It makes me happy to see how much progress has been made there.

I know I've shared this article in other places on this site, but I think it's appropriate here as well. It's a good roadmap out of extreme poverty, and I think a lot of the countries on this quiz can learn from Bangladesh.

+1
Level 46
Oct 5, 2021
It has always been my understanding that Burundi, whose citizens make about $700 per YEAR, was the poorest country on earth and it's not even an answer in this quiz(?).
+1
Level 64
Oct 5, 2021
It still could well be. This quiz is based on the most people, rather than the highest percentage. Burundi's population is 11.9 million, with the lowest number on here 9.12m, so Burundi would need to have over 75% of people living in extreme poverty to make this list.
+1
Level 64
Oct 5, 2021
However, looking at the source at World Poverty Clock, it states Burundi as having 9,355,887 people living in extreme poverty - that's 79% of people. Probably should be included in this quiz in which case, you're right Dave!
+1
Level ∞
Oct 5, 2021
Wow, that's correct. The quiz has been fixed.