Western countries are known to be economically affluent, as compared to their Eastern counterparts. However, certain countries in Europe continue to be poor due to various reasons. Economic hardships are common in many of the European countries. Europe is the home to 48 countries of the world, with a total population of around 731 million. After the downfall of the Soviet Union, economic crisis showed up in many of the European countries. Read on to know about the poorest countries in Europe that still have doors open to be economically refined. The ranking has been done according to gross national per capita income.
1. Moldova ($2560)
Moldova is a young country which was born after it gained its independence from Russia in 1991. It is one of the largest producers of wine in the world, yet it is not economically affluent. It is certainly not a luxurious country and a major part of its economy relies on agriculture. Although the country has a lot of beautiful places, tourism is yet to be developed. Altogether, it will take nearly a few decades before the country finds itself in economical limelight.
2. Ukraine ($3560)
Ukraine is next on the list. It is ridden with poverty, violence and a large section of the country is occupied by the separatists. After the Maidan Revolution, the economic status of the country even worsened. Moreover, it has conflicts with Russia. Russia has taken away Crimea from Ukraine, which was one of the best tourist attractions of the country. Thus, travel and tourism also suffered a blow in the country. Apart from this, Crimea also had an important port. Thus, Ukraine is economically far behind the other European countries.
3. Kosovo ($3990)
This is one of the newest countries in the world and finds its place in the third spot in the list of poorest European nations. It was separated from Serbia in 2008. Yet, it struggles to get recognition as a new nation. It lacks infrastructure, funds and investment. However, it gains a substantial amount of its national income from non-resident citizens in France and Germany. They send funds to the nation for its development, which is obviously not sufficient.
4. Albania ($4450)
Albania is one of the poorest countries of Europe, in spite of having large deposits of natural gas and iron. However, it does not harvest these resources well and the citizens are unable to capitalize on the same. The main occupation of the people of Albania is agriculture, like many of the economically backward countries of Europe. However, ongoing talks with the World Bank may change its fortune, and it might get support to develop its agriculture and economy in the coming years.
5. Bosnia and Herzegovina ($4760)
These two names refer to a single combined country that was separated from Czechoslovakia around 25 years ago. It was previously a communist state. However, after independence, the people of Bosnia were trying to convert it into a free market. The plan did not work out well and it still remains in the list of the poorest European countries. Although the country has lots of mineral and metal deposits, foreign trade has suffered as the turmoil over the years in the country.
6. Macedonia ($5150)
People often confuse this country with the birthplace of king Alexander. Well, it is not Macedon, after all. The country remains in the list of poor countries and the global crisis in its debts continue to increase. It has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the world. Nearly 30% of the population of the country are unemployed. However, trends are likely to change in the years to come, as the governments of the UK and Germany are taking steps to improve its economic health.
7. Montenegro ($7320)
Well, you might find it difficult to call it a poor country. Montenegro is known to be the habitat of the rich and luxurious people. However, it down not has much wealth of its own. It is a post- Yugoslavian state and is riddled by wars and internal conflicts. However, the country has a number of beautiful villas and habitats. It is a good country for tourists to visit.
8. Serbia ($5820)
Serbia is a poor country due to its struggle in the past and separation from Yugo Slovakia. It was a communist economy in the past, but gradually transformed into a capitalist one. Thus, the economy suffered a lot during these years of transition. However, it is one of the countries with a bright future ahead. It is improving in terms of economic growth and the rates of unemployment has sharply dropped in the recent years. The tourism industry is also fast-developing in the country.
9. Bulgaria ($7620)
In Bulgaria, nearly one-fourth of the population is below the poverty line. However, it is the strongest non-Euro nation on the continent. The country is ranked nine in the list due to its economic crisis, arising primarily from the corrupt political infrastructure. It also has a substantial degree of crime rate, organized in nature. However, it has good resources of metals and the metallurgy industry may help to heal its economy. However, Bulgaria needs a strong and stable administration to eliminate crime and internal instability.
Romania is one of the most beautiful countries of the world. It has amazing rivers and picturesque geographic structures. Yet, it struggles with its economy. The country has landed up in financial crisis since 2008, following the global economic crisis. However, this condition is a contemporary phenomenon and the country had experienced better days in the past, particularly in the mid 80’s. It was one of the highest exporters of goods. Well, chances are still there for the economy to improve and Romania can experience the good old days once the crisis gets over.
With this, you know the poorest countries of Europe. However, most of these countries are suffering from economic crisis due to political instability, internal conflict and independence issues. Scopes of improvements are still high, as other nations are coming forward to pull them out of the crisis.