According to the United Nations, LDCs are nations with low per capita income that are struggling to build an economically stable and self-sufficient future. Currently, there are 46 LDCs, the most majority of which are found in Africa, with a few others in South America and Asia/Oceania.
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Least developed countries and the Human Development Index (HDI)
The United Nations Human Development Index is widely recognised as one of the most accurate and reliable quick indicators of a country’s level of development (HDI).
This index calculates a single human development number for over 150 nations by tracking and comparing over 150 global indices such as life expectancy, education, and per capita income.
Using a scale from 0 to 1 (with 1.000 being the highest possible score and 0.000 representing the lowest), HDI classifies countries as either low (.55) or medium (.70), high (.80), or very high (1.000) in terms of human development (.80-1.0).
Countries With the Fewest Resources (United Nations 2022)
|Country||2019 HDI||Country||2019 HDI||Country||2019 HDI||Country||2019 HDI|
|Central African Republic||.397||Chad||.398||Comoros||.554||Congo (Dem. Rep.)||.480|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||.625||Senegal||.512||Sierra Leone||.452||Solomon Islands||.567|
Developing countries are more susceptible to economic and environmental shocks because their industrial and economic ecosystems are so weak and undeveloped. They also have worse educational institutions, which limits their ability to attract and retain skilled workers.
The United Nations runs several programmes to assist LDCs to get back on their feet, including initiatives to improve agriculture, education, industry, and other pillars of a prosperous state.
Human assets index/workforce (HAI), economic and ecological vulnerability index (EVI), and gross national income per capita are some of the fifteen indicators used in the United Nations triennial review of the LDC list and assessment of each country’s development (GNI).
Around once every decade, the United Nations hosts a major meeting focused on the world’s poorest nations. Past gatherings have occurred in Paris, France (twice), Brussels, Belgium, and Istanbul, Turkey, in 2011.
The aim established at the 2011 meeting was to have half of the present LDCs no longer fall within that category by the year 2022.
While this appears unlikely to happen in light of the ongoing worldwide COVID-19 epidemic, the programme has successfully graduated several nations in the past, and many more are on pace to graduate from Least Developed to Developing in the coming years.
Countries that have graduated from the U.N.’s least-developed countries programme (or should soon):
|Country||Graduation Date||Expected Graduation|
|São Tomé and Príncipe||–||2024|
However, there is a long way to go for certain nations. With a Human Development Index score of.354, Niger is the world’s least developed nation.
Moreover, half of the population of Niger is malnourished, and 44.1% of its citizens have a poor or nonexistent income. Niger also boasts the world’s highest fertility rate, with 6.8 births per woman of reproductive age.
This is much higher than the mortality rate in the nation. Thus, the Nigerian population keeps growing, putting even more pressure on the country’s already weak economy and infrastructure and deepening the poor situation there.
Conflict with the militant Islamist organisation Boko Haram and the effects of drought have stifled agricultural and economic progress.
Also See: Latin American Countries 2022
United Nations 2019 statistics on the human development index’s ten least-developed countries:
- Niger — .394
- Central African Republic — .397
- Chad — .398
- Burundi — .433 (tie w/ South Sudan)
- South Sudan — .433 (tie w/ Burundi)
- Mali — .434
- Burkina Faso — .452 (tie w/ Sierra Leone)
- Sierra Leone — .452 (tie w/ Burkina Faso)
- Mozambique — .456
- Eritrea — .459
|Country||Current or Former?||Year Added||Human Development Index 2019||Year Graduated|
|Central African Republic||Current||1975||0.3970||N/A|