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The world's worst economies

By at least one measure, these countries rank worst in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund's estimates.

Congo: Worst per capita income

World Economy Congo
A man rides on the back of a motorcycle taxi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Measure: Gross domestic product per capita*
  • 2012 reading: $231.51

Despite its rich resources, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has battled violence, poverty and systemic corruption after gaining its independence from Belgium in 1960.

Congo's economy is growing at a relatively rapid clip of 6% to 7% a year as it recovers from years of internal conflict over the nation's substantial resources -- including tin ore and diamonds. But its total gross domestic product remains small at around $25 billion. Coupled with a population that exceeds 73 million, Congo occupies the final spot on the IMF's list of per capita gross domestic production, with a total production of just $231 per person.

Much of the nation's economic activity takes place in the informal sector, and is not counted in official GDP estimates.

In U.S. dollars, current prices
- Last updated August 07 2012 10:22 AM ET

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