Top 10 Third World Countries in 2021 (Country Rankings) !

What is a Third country in the World? Recently, the Third World countries have high levels of poverty, economic volatility, and a lack of human resources compared with the rest of the World. In the Cold War, the term “States of the Third World” was first used. This term has been used for describing countries, not in line with, or neutral to, the Communist Bloc or NATO. This term was first used to classify countries into three political and economic groups.

The US, Canada, South Korea, Japan, and Western Europe have been classified as First World countries during the Cold War. China, the Soviet Union, Cuba, and their allies were part of the Second World War. Colonial pasts in Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Oceania were typically present in third-world countries. The term “three worlds” has changed somewhat following the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Now, a country that isn’t as developed as other countries and is confronted by economic, social, political, environmental, and other issues is Third World. This has caused some uncertainty about the use of the term.

Here are the ten countries with the lowest human development indexes, which are considered The Top Ten Third World Countries 2021!

10. Mali 

Several sub-Saharan ethnic groups belong to the population of Mali. The Bambara represent 36.5% of the population, by far the largest ethnic group. Collectively, 50% of the population of Mali are Bambara, Sonince, Khassonke and Malinke (also called Mandinka), all belonging to the broader Mande group. In the 20th century, the Arabic people retained slaves until the French authorities suppressed their slavery around the middle of the 20th century. Mali’s literacy rates lie between 27 and 30 and 46.4%, and a significantly lower literacy rating in females than men. Mali faces a wide variety of health challenges connected with poverty, malnutrition, and poor sanitation and hygiene. Mali has one of the worst indicators of health and development in the World.

Population (2021):20,855,735
Human Development Index:0.427 
Poverty Rate:45%
GDP per capita:$2,271

9. Burkina Faso 

Burkina Faso

According to the Global Hunger Index, Burkina Faso placed 65 out of 78 countries in 2019, an instrument for measuring and tracking hunger levels. There are currently over 1.5 million kids, with an estimated 350 thousand needing medical emergency services at risk of food insecurity in Burkina Faso. However, only approximately a third of these children will be adequately cared for. The recommended daily number of foods is only 11.4 percent of children under the age of two. The average life expectancy for men in 2016 was 60 and for women 61. In 2018, mortality rates were 76 per 1000 live births for the under-five and infant mortality rate. In 2014, its population median age was 17, and the population growth rate estimated was 3.05%. 

Population (2021):21,497,096
Human Development Index:0.423 
Poverty Rate:40.1%
GDP per capita:$2,207

8. Sierra Leone 

Education is legal for all primary school-age kids (P1-P6 class) and three secondary schools in Sierra Leone, but there has been a lack of schools and teachers. Two-thirds of the country’s adult population are analphabets. Medical care is not readily available and is not accessible to many villagers by doctors and hospitals. While in some villages, free health services may be available, medical workers are poorly paid for their services and sometimes use the benefit of the villagers who do not know their right to free medical services. That’s why it ranked number eight in this list of top ten third world countries in 2021.

Population (2021):8,141,343
Human Development Index:0.419 
Poverty Rate:64.8%
GDP per capita:$1,608

7. Burundi 


Burundi is a landless, resource-deprived country with an underdeveloped production sector. It is one of worst country to live in. It is mainly an agricultural economy that accounts for 50% of GDP in 2017 and employs more than 90% of the population. The agriculture of subsistence accounts for 90% of farming. Cake and tea represent 90% of Burundi’s primary exports, but exports represent a relatively small portion of GDP. The average size of the farm was around 1 acre in 2014. Burundi has a poor geographical position, a poor legal system, lack of access to education, lack of economic freedom, and the proliferation of HIV/AIDS. Burundi is one of the World’s most impoverished countries. Around 80% of the population in Burundi is poor. According to the World Food Program, hunger and food deficit have been experienced in all Burundi, mainly in the twentieth century, and 56.8% of children under five have chronic malnutrition.

Population (2021):12,255,433
Human Development Index:0.417 
Poverty Rate:96.90%
GDP per capita:$727

6. Chad 

Refugee Camp Chad

According to the Human Development Index of the United Nations, Chad is the seventh poorest country in the World, and 80 percent of the population lives below the poverty line. In 2019, per capita GDP (parity of buying power) was estimated to be USD 1,651. Because of the country’s dispersed population and parents’ reluctance to send their children to school, educators are confronted with considerable challenges. While attendance is mandatory, only 68 percent of children attend primary school, and over half are illiterate.  Chad has one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s lowest literacy rates at 33 percent.

Population (2021):16,914,985
Human Development Index:0.404
Poverty Rate:66.2%
GDP per capita:$2,428

5. South Sudan 

South Sudan

South Sudan’s economy, which has few available facilities and the highest maternal mortality rates and feminine illiteracy in the World as of 2019, is among the least developed in the World. Like many other developing countries, the country’s economy relies heavily on agriculture. Others include Southern Sudan Beverages Limited, a subsidiary of SABMiller, besides companies based on natural resources.

South Sudan has been recognized as having some of the World’s worst indicators of health. The infant mortality rate of 5 is 135.3 per 1,000, with maternal mortality at 2.053.9 per 100,000, living the highest in the World.

Population (2021):11,381,378
Human Development Index:0.388 
Poverty Rate:82.3%
GDP per capita:$1,420

4. The Central African Republic

The Republic’s per capita income is often recorded at about $400 a year and one of the World’s lowest. Still, this figure relies mainly on reported export sales and largely ignores the unregistered sale of products, alcoholic beverages, diamonds, ivory, bust, and traditional medicinal products produced locally. In the Central African Republic, women’s health is poor. The 4th highest mother mortality in the World since 2010 has been in the country. In 2014, the total fertility rate was estimated at 4,46 born/woman children. About 25% of women have been subjected to female genital mutilation. 

Population (2021):4,919,981
Human Development Index:0.367
Poverty Rate:62%
GDP per capita:$823

3. Niger 


Niger had consistently been ranked 187th in 188 countries in 2015, 189th out of 189 in its 2019 reports, and has always been at the bottom of the UN Human Development Index. Many of the country’s non-desert areas are under threat of regular drought and wilderness. The economy focuses on subsistence agriculture with some of the most fertile south export agriculture and raw materials, particularly uranium minerals. Due to the position, inefficient agriculture, high fertility rates with no birth control, and the resultant overpopulation, Niger faces significant development challenges.

Population (2021):25,130,817
Human Development Index:0.354 
Poverty Rate:41.4%
GDP per capita:$1,213

2. Somalia 

Despite civil unrest, Somalia has maintained a healthy informal economy, based mainly on livestock and transferring funds and telecommunications, according to the CIA and the Central Bank of Somalia. The economy’s size or economic growth is difficult to assess because of the lack of formal governmental statistics and the recent civil war. During the subsequent civil war, Somalia’s public health system was largely destroyed. Informal providers have filled the vacuum, replacing the former government’s monopoly on healthcare, as have other previously nationalized sectors; access to facilities has increased considerably. 

Population (2021):16,359,504
Human Development Index:0
Poverty Rate:73%
GDP per capita:$888

1. Tuvalu 

Tuvalu was one of the Pacific Island’s best-performing economies and achieved an annual growth rate of 5.6% for the real gross domestic product (GDP). Following 2002, economic growth slowed, and 2019 saw a 1.5% growth in GDP. In 2019, Tuvalu was subjected to rapid global fuel and food price rises with an inflation peak of 13.4%. Heart disease, closely followed by diabetes and high blood pressure, is the leading cause of disease and death since the 20th century in Tuvalu. Diabetes mellitus, hypertension, obesity, and cerebral vascular disease, among the other causes of death, resulted in most deaths in 2016 in Tuvalu.

Population (2021):11,931
Human Development Index:0
Poverty Rate:46.70% 
GDP per capita:$3,566

So these are the top ten Third World Countries in 2021! You have to look below if you want to look at the Top 30 Country Ranking of the World along with their Human Development Index.

RankCountryHuman Development Index
4Central African Republic0.367
5South Sudan0.388
8Sierra Leone0.419
9Burkina Faso0.423
15Guinea Bissau0.455
16Dr Congo0.457
22Ivory Coast0.492

Due to the confusion about its definition, the term “Third World” is used less often. Instead, it is replaced by terms like the least-developed, developing, and global southern countries. The LDCs are based on UN data with the lowest socio-economic development and Human Development Index ratings. These countries have weaknesses, economic vulnerabilities, and overall poor nutrition, education, and literacy.

Sophia Wadke
I am Shopia, a movie enthusiastic and I read lot of books, mostly of science fiction, thrillers and biography. Content writing is just my profession but my passion too.

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