worst economy malawi
  • Measure: GDP per capita
  • 2013 estimate: $215.22

Around half of Malawi's mostly rural population live on less than $1 a day. Food security is a constant challenge for the southern African country, which has a history of underdevelopment.

It's been a particularly difficult few years. A severe foreign exchange shortage left Malawi unable to import critical goods like fuel and medicine in 2012, prompting a series of economic reforms that helped secure much-needed foreign aid.

Related: The new emerging markets

That underpins a more bullish outlook for the country, with the IMF projecting 5% growth in 2013, though Malawi remains one of the world's poorest nations.

First published January 10, 2014: 11:27 AM ET
Source: International Monetary Fund
Current prices, in U.S. dollars.

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