Top 10 Poorest Countries In Europe 2020 By GDP Per Capita

List of poorest countries in Europe by their GDP per capita (PPP). Europe is one of the most developed continents of the world but with the land area of 10,400,000 square kilometers, it happens to be the second smallest continent in the world. Broadly speaking, Europe comprises many countries and it is quite awesome that most of these countries have achieved remarkable feats in terms of economic development. 

Over the years, many European countries have survived economically and achieved national progress. Consequently, Europe has boosted its wealth among the other six continents of the world.

When discussions are held about Europe, tourists are fascinated to visit the continent and traverse its lush landscape characterized by beautiful cities, expensive buildings, and picaresque natural features. With that said, one would easily agree that the European continent boasts of immense wealth. Irrespective of the wealth of Europe, there are still poor European countries based on GDP statistics. Nevertheless, the irony embedded in this is that Europe’s poorest countries would become Africa’s richest countries if they were part of the African continent.

Top 10 Poorest Countries In Europe By GDP Per Capita

 Rank No.  Country  GDP Per Capita
 1.  Moldova  $8,161
 2.  Ukraine  $10,190
 3.  Kosovo  $13,017
 4.  Albania  $14,866
 5.  Bosnia And Herzegovina  $14,894
 6.  Macedonia  $17,378
 7.  Serbia  $19,767
 8.  Belarus  $21,224
 9.  Montenegro  $21,997
 10.  Bulgaria  $26,034

Updated list above for 2020, based on the last International Monetary Fund report


  • 1. Moldova

Moldova, currently the poorest country in Europe – is one of the countries in the South Eastern region of Europe. It covers a total of 33, 670 square kilometers of Europe’s entire landmass. Considered one of the lowly-developed European countries, Moldova depends largely on its agriculture sector. In terms of religion, Moldova is dominated by Christians with a minority group of infidels.

Based on the average income (alternatively the GDP per capita) of $8,161, Moldova happens to be the poorest European country. An apparently young country which seceded from the Soviet Union in 1991 and thereupon attained independence; Moldova is interestingly one of the best wine-making countries outside the confines of France. However, Moldova still doesn’t boast of a luxurious standard of living due to limited financial means. To eke out a living, the largest part of Moldovan citizens depend heavily on agriculture.

If you’re keen to explore the terrain of Moldova probably as an adventurer, it would be very cautious of you to steer clear of the eastern region of Pridnestria. Quite typical of what occurs in Ukraine –one of the European countries bordering upon Moldova –Moldova and some Russian-backed separatists are at cross purposes. Meanwhile, the two parties have persisted in issuing threats of conflict to each other.

Going by the global statistics of GDP per capita, Moldova is Europe’s poorest country but due to the reasonable levels of development attained by European countries, Moldova is still richer than the best part of African countries.

  • 2. Ukraine

Ukraine is a Republican State in the South East of Europe. By and large, it is regarded as one of the first four States which made up the Soviet Union in 1922. Though Ukraine attained independence in 1990, this was barely recognized until the subsequent year (1991). In terms of economic sustenance, Ukraine depends on its vast agricultural potentials and its mineral endowments. Located in the South East of Europe, Ukraine covers 603,700 square kilometers out of Europe’s entire land area.

With the GDP per capita of $10,190, Ukraine merits no better than the second position among the poorest countries in Europe. In recent times, the country is yet to come across great fortunes. Rather, it dangles between setbacks resulting from the likely failure of the post-Maidan Revolution government, the slightly shrouded interventions by Russia, and the country’s failure to be a member State of the European Union. Coupled with a few other factors, the stated reasons contribute to Ukraine’s limited opportunities for improving economic growth. With Russia’s annexation of Crimea –one of the leading tourist attractions across the globe –Ukraine is certainly out of favour and this has had a negative effect on its economy at large. In addition to the annexation of Crimea, Russia further dispossessed the country of Sevastapol –one of Ukraine’s significant trade ports.

Precisely, the government of Ukraine (as well as the Ukrainian populace) is striving to find its bearings on the global scene and this leaves the skeptical impression as to whether Ukraine will still remain in this category of European countries or not.

  • 3. Kosovo

Many people hardly believe Kosovo is worth gaining the status of a country. Irrespective of opinions, Kosovo is one of the less influential countries in Europe. Having seceded from Serbia and declared independence in 2008, Kosovo has attained no reasonable status characteristic of powerful countries. In fact, the country is devoid of investment opportunities practically because many foreigners do not see it as a meaningful or worthy avenue for investment. With the average income (alternatively GDP per capita) of $13,017, Kosovo comfortably fits into the third position among Europe’s poorest countries.

Although Kosovo may be showing prospects of development, the country is yet to attain a worthy stance due to insufficient internal contributions to the national income. To improve its national income, Kosovo largely depends on the funds generated from its citizens who are working in wealthier European countries including France and Germany.

  • 4. Albania

Albania maintains a low GDP per capita of $14,866, making it one of Europe’s poorest countries. Interestingly, Albania is endowed with a fairly large amount of natural resources including natural gas and iron. However, on a sad note, Albania’s presence on this list shows that the country is still struggling to transform its natural potentials into substantial money.

As observed among many other poor European countries, Albania depends heavily on agriculture in a bid to create large-scale employment for its citizens. Meanwhile, the government of Albania is believed to have resorted to the World Bank and various other global organizations, seeking financial assistance needed to review environmental, economic, and agricultural practices. If this materializes for the country, Albania may succeed in finding its way out of Europe’s poorest countries in the nearest future.

  • 5. Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina are kept within the average income of $14,894 make the twin country the fifth on our list of the top 10 poorest countries in Europe, and in point of fact, the country has long carried two major burdens. Nearly three decades ago, Bosnia and Herzegovina seceded from its parent country –Yugoslavia –and declared independence for itself. Meanwhile, the aftermath of this recession is that the country is struggling to find its bearings after a partial collapse. Since it disengaged itself from Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina have been striving to adopt a free market economy as against the communist system adopted during Josip Tito’s reign. Conditions have not really proven good for the Bosnian government in the quest to diversify the country’s economic system.

Owing to the communist system adopted in the past, Bosnia, and Herzegovina is yet to attain standard improvements. Moreover, this has prevented foreign investors from exploring the country to set up businesses that can help the country’s situations. In spite of its substantial mineral reserves including metal, Bosnia and Herzegovina are still lagging behind as regards attracting foreign businesses.

  • 6. Macedonia

In addition to its status as a poor country, Macedonia is one of the European countries with no significant influence on the global scene. Since it gained the status of a country, Macedonia is yet to maintain a dynamic economy. In point of fact, Macedonia is one of the countries which seceded from the parent and the Soviet State of Yugoslavia. While it was part of the latter [Yugoslavia], Macedonia contributed only 5% of Yugoslavia’s national income. With this, it’s evident that Macedonia has long remained an insignificant region in terms of economic contributions. Regarding the negative effects of the 2008 global debt crisis, Macedonia has remained out of favour and has barely succeeded in achieving an improved standard of living. Moreover, no instance of prosperity for many Macedonians as their country suffers approximately a 30-percent unemployment rate.

On a significant note, Macedonia is likely to get out of its economic setbacks in the nearest future due to the country’s steady government which will potentially attract foreign investors from more prosperous countries like Britain and Germany. Being one of Europe’s poorest countries, Macedonia maintains the GDP per capita of $17,378.

  • 7. Serbia

Though Serbia appears on this list of poorest European countries, the country has an auspicious future and this has been proven with its current level of economic progress. Precisely, Serbia is one of the countries carved out of Yugoslavia, and due to its separation from the latter, it has encountered some challenges. Quite typical of the other poor European countries contained in this list, Serbia is faced with slight challenges but under the influence of successful diversion from communism to capitalism, the country has been able to buttress its economic system.

Currently, many reputable outfits (including US Steel, Nestle, and Coca-Cola) are committed to spanning their businesses across Serbia. Meanwhile, this has paved the way for Serbia to easily reduce its unemployment rate and maximize its volume of production. Regarding this and a few wealth sources (such as the tourism sector), Serbia is potentially on the path to robust development among Eastern Bloc countries. Although Serbia has great prospects, the GDP per capita of $19,767 keeps the country among Europe’s poorest countries.

  • 8. Belarus

Belarus has the GDP per capita is $21,224

  • 9. Montenegro

Together with Serbia, Montenegro constituted the Union of Serbia and Montenegro –established in 2002. In 1918, Montenegro joined Croatia, Serbia, and few others in forming Yugoslavia.

Montenegro can hardly boast of enormous wealth and when Europe’s wealth is the subject matter, the country wouldn’t surface among the domineering forces. Regarded as one of the States carved out of Yugoslavia, Montenegro is yet to make substantial wealth that can place it among Europe’s wealthy countries. Despite its beautiful atmosphere best suited for tourist attractions, Montenegro has been plagued by frequent cases of external threats.

As obvious as it is, Montenegro is one of the marvelous tourist destinations beautified with geographical features such as splendid natural vistas and picturesque villas. Over and above that, Montenegro is a suitable place for tourists who are willing to have a pleasant bite of tourism without spending excessively. Recently, noble people of English and Russian descent are showing interest in the country. This will potentially boost the country’s economy but again, there might be an increase in tourist charges. With the GDP per capita of $21,997, Montenegro is much better than the countries above in terms of economic wealth.

  • 10. Bulgaria

It is quite sad to find Bulgaria among the top 10 poorest European countries precisely because the country’s currency is considered the most powerful non-Euro currency in the Eastern region of Europe. In spite of its strong currency, Bulgaria perfectly fits into this list because the living conditions of almost one-quarter of its people are considered within or below the poverty line.

Many Bulgarians continue to live under poor conditions and the reasons for these can be traced to the country’s devastating crime presence as well as an unscrupulous political system. For many of the countries on this list, agriculture is arguably the most contributive sector. However, Bulgaria doesn’t have agriculture as its major source of wealth and that’s probably one of the reasons why it claims higher GDP per capita than any of the countries above. Meanwhile, metallurgy, as well as energy production, is considered the mainstay of Bulgaria’s economy and if the country succeeds in managing this effectively, financial security will be boosted at large. In terms of the global rankings of countries’ standards of living, Bulgaria maintains the average income of $26,034, making it the ninth poorest country in Europe.

  • 11. Romania

Romania is considered one of the poorest European countries but in point of fact, it is the best country on this list in terms of economic sustenance. Romania is a beautiful country distinguished for housing one of the loveliest rivers on the European continent. As part of the European Union, Romania houses the sixth biggest city in the latter association. Despite appearing on this list, Romania has a fair poverty level and this is clearly proven with the average income (or GDP per capita) of $29,555.

As far back as the era of the global financial crisis (which surfaced in 2008), Romania has been maintaining significant economic growth. By way of drawing a comparison between Romania’s current economy and how it was many years back (precisely in 1985), one would agree that the country has auspicious prospects. Meanwhile, these massive future opportunities are clearly observed in Romania’s current national budget and export basis.

That’s all about Top 10 Poorest Countries In Europe By GDP Per Capita.


Tags: Top 10 Poorest Countries In Europe 2020 By GDP Per Capita (PPP)

Reference: International Monetary Fund