Burundi - Poverty and wealth



With an annual average GDP per capita of US$730 in 1999, Burundi was one of the poorest countries in the world with 60 percent of the population living in conditions of extreme poverty. The vast majority of Burundians were farmers on small plots of land used for subsistence agriculture or for the cultivation of cash crops such as coffee and tea. The poorest 40 percent of the country controlled only 20 percent of the wealth, whereas the richest 40 percent controlled 63.7 percent. The government spent only 0.6 percent of its gross domestic product on health but 5.8 percent on military expenditures. The majority of Burundian citizens struggled to supply themselves and their families with even the most basic

GDP per Capita (US$)
Country 1975 1980 1985 1990 1998
Burundi 162 176 198 206 147
United States 19,364 21,529 23,200 25,363 29,683
Dem. Rep. of Congo 392 313 293 247 127
Rwanda 233 321 312 292 227
SOURCE : United Nations. Human Development Report 2000; Trends in human development and per capita income.

Distribution of Income or Consumption by Percentage Share: Burundi
Lowest 10% 3.4
Lowest 20% 7.9
Second 20% 12.1
Third 20% 16.3
Fourth 20% 22.1
Highest 20% 41.6
Highest 10% 26.6
Survey year: 1992
Note: This information refers to expenditure shares by percentiles of the population and is ranked by per capita expenditure.
SOURCE : 2000 World Development Indicators [CD-ROM].

health care, with only 6 doctors and 17 nurses per 100,000 people. The daily intake of calories for the average Burundian fell from 2,104 in 1970 to only 1,685 in 1997. Over the same period the daily supply of protein fell by 30.8 percent and the intake of fat by 26.7 percent.

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Jan 9, 2013 @ 6:18 pm
Burundi is a beautiful country and so are its people. I have spent many hours listing to the music of Burundi and watching music videos. The native dancing is wonderful to watch. I am enthralled whatching drum musicians carrying the large drums on their heads. The basis of the economy is very troubling. If Burundi can establish permanent peace between the Hutus and Tutsis then perhaps it can begin to mine its natural resources and bring a satisfactory level of prosperity to its citizens. The people who fled the civil war and came to the United States are assets to our country. My life would be much poorer if I did not have the friends from Burundi that I have. They have brought a great love for their home country when they have come here.

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