Is Rwanda a poor country?

In all respects, Rwanda is a poor country. Economic, social, and human resources were all decimated by the 1994 conflict.

Almost 90% of the population survives on less than $2 per day, and 50% survive on less than $1 per day. In 1998, 65.3 percent of the population was living below the poverty line, according to government data.

Because of this, even though the population was found to be within two hours walking distance of a health center in 1996, the quality of health of Rwandans remains poor.

A short life span is a common occurrence, as is starvation. Malaria and respiratory infections, which is more industrialized countries are rarely the cause of mortality, are the most common causes of death in Rwanda.

People are not only unwell, but they are also undereducated in this area. There are only 46 percent of Rwandan instructors who are qualified, and the number of students who drop out of school is significant, according to government figures.

Secondary school enrollment in 1998 was only 7 percent of eligible students.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), the African Development Bank (ADB), and the World Bank have taken a number of steps to aid Rwanda in its economic recovery. As a result, the IMF gave its approval in 1998


                                GDP per Capita (US$)

Country          1975  1980   1985   1990   1998 

Rwanda            233     321       312     292      227

How rich is Rwanda?

Rwanda’s recent economic progress has resulted in the creation of new business opportunities and the abolition of poverty.

Between 2010 and 2016, Rwanda’s business climate drastically improved, rising from 139 to 62 on the World Bank’s annual Doing Business Report.

Growth in Rwanda’s primary sources of foreign money includes mining, tourism, and coffee and tea. These sectors are vital for economic development and poverty reduction.

Increased access to markets and assistance to Rwanda’s government in removing roadblocks to private sector development is at the heart of USAID’s private sector competitiveness programs.

Population Increase 12,374,397 (2019 proj.)
  • Increase $10.209 billion (nominal, 2019 est.)[4]
  • Increase $35. 587 billion (PPP, 2021.)[5]
GDP rank
  • 139th (nominal, 2019)
  • 129th (PPP, 2020)
GDP growth
  • 8.6% (2018) 10.1% (2019e)
  • 3.5% (2020e) 6.7% (2021e)[5]
GDP per capita
  • Increase $825 (nominal, 2019 est.)[4]
  • Increase $2,660 (PPP, 2021.)[4]
GDP per capita rank
  • 167th (nominal, 2019)
  • 165th (PPP, 2019)
GDP by sector
  • agriculture: 30.9%
  • industry: 17.6%
  • services: 51.5% (2017 est.)[6]
Inflation (CPI)
6.9% (2020 est.)[5]
Population below poverty line
  • 39.1% (2015 est.)[6]
  • 55.5% on less than $1.90/day (2016)[7]
Gini coefficient
43.7 medium (2016)[8]
Human Development Index
  • Increase 0.536 low (2018)[9] (157th)
  • 0.382 low IHDI (2018)[10]
Labour force
  • Increase 6,374,891 (2019)[11]
  • Increase 48.3% employment rate (Q1, 2020)[12]
Labour force by occupation
  • agriculture: 75.3%
  • industry: 6.7%
  • services: 18% (2012 est.)[6]
Unemployment Positive decrease 13.1% (Q1, 2020)[12]
Main industries
cement, agricultural products, small-scale beverages, soap, furniture, shoes, plastic goods, textiles, cigarettes
Ease-of-doing-business rank
Decrease 38th (very easy, 2020)



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