Alleviate Poverty

Countries with the Lowest and Highest Poverty Rates

Published on 15th August 2021.

The global poverty rate is something that we should all be aware of. The numbers are staggering when looked at on the global scale. Currently, 1 person per second falls below the poverty level and that number can grow higher depending on what individual country you are talking about. Certain countries seem to be well adapted at handling poverty concerns while others seem to struggle. We will look at countries on an individual basis to see which ones have the lowest and highest poverty rates.

South Sudan

Waring countries tend to have the highest poverty rates as destruction and starvation surrounds civilians within those nations. At the top of the list for the world’s highest poverty rate is South Sudan. This country has continually battled civil war among its people and an unstable economy that is weakened by continual fighting. The poverty rate in South Sudan is 82.3% currently, so the impoverished vastly outnumber those that have plenty. In this type of situation, children are often left on their own as parents invest time in fighting for their cause or simply venturing out to find sustenance for the family.


Australia is among the largest and wealthiest countries. Australia offers an excellent mix of rural developments as well as larger cities and droves of financial opportunities, but compared to similarly wealthy countries, it maintains a higher poverty level. The current poverty level for Australia stands at 13.6%. According to Australian measurement, poverty line is based upon those who make less than 50% of the overall median income. For a single adult, the median income level is $457 per week.

To account for the growing poverty in the country, many young adults, as much as 9 out of 10 surveyed claimed to skip meals as a means of stretching their budget. Rental assistance programs for young adults have not been updated in more than 25 years and agencies are now calling for an increase of at least $20 per week for these services.

Dominican Republic

The current poverty rate in the Dominican Republic is 23.85%. That is up slightly from the previous rate of 23.36%. The increase has not been linked to a decrease in income, but rather an increase in inflation. Inflation may be a hot button topic in many areas, but in 2021, inflation for the Dominican Republic reached a staggering 8.5%. An inflation rate of that amount can be felt across the board of economic areas throughout the Dominican Republic and has a vast affect on neighboring nations as well. Work remains steady in the Dominican Republic, but the slight uptick in the overall poverty rate is cause for concern.

Currently, throughout the Dominican Republic, infrastructure development, education, and enhanced agricultural improvements are being made to alleviate the current economic state of the country and decrease poverty rates. Efforts to educate residents of these countries are underway as well. approximately 26% of the country’s residents are illiterate leading to diminished potential for upward employment opportunities. However, by enhancing education for the younger generation and investing in adult reading and education classes, the Dominican Republic can work to reduce poverty rates by enhancing potential job opportunities to everyone.


Here is another country suffering due to increased poverty rates. Madagascar’s poverty rate stands at 70.70% which is a staggering number for such a large country. There are various reasons for the number to be so substantially high, but many have blamed the issue on purely lack of education across the board. Few education enhancement programs have been instituted outside large cities in Madagascar, so its citizens in rural areas are primarily uneducated and therefore unable to enhance their personal income through modern means. Residents mainly rely on farming and trading among communities rather than investing in higher education.


Traditionally, Austria has been among the wealthiest countries and their devotion to enhanced wealth can be seen in their poverty rate. Austria has one of the lowest poverty rates in the world with merely 4% of its citizens considered impoverished. Possibly one of the main entities affected by poverty concerns are children under 17. Families with children under 17 have a higher likelihood of falling below the poverty line. Those numbers are steadily increasing and are currently up to 9.1%.


This country has some of the most impressive numbers when it comes to the poverty rate. In 2001, the estimated poverty rate in the country was 27.5%. However, today, the poverty rate in 2015 was 12.8%. That is a substantial drop and this trend can be attributed to more businesses moving into the country an offering higher wages to residents. Uzbekistan is a key example of what government programs and opening up the country to increase in business can do for its people.

What Can Be Done to Help Alleviate This Growing Issue?

There are a lot of theories involved when talking about decreasing a country’s poverty level. However, there are few that actually work. One of the more important factors is the overall education system. Education is vital. As a country invests in educating their citizens through various programs, it promotes those students to grow up and have a desire for more. A properly educated person can look for ways to improve their current state and will pursue more educational opportunities if provided.

Governments that invest in educating their citizens are ultimately working to lower poverty levels across the board. Empowering citizens with the ability to get more out of life enables them to build their communities and thrive. This type of investment also entices bigger businesses to invest in the community in order to have access to an educated and enthusiastic workforce. The entire system works as circle and realizing that everyone in the country is important and valid is the only way for a country to succeed in lowering poverty rates. Again, as in the case with countries such as South Sudan, civil uprising and wars will almost always have a negative affect on the poverty rate.

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