7) The Republic Of Namibia - Population: 2,128,307 - Unemployment Rate: 22% - % Unemployed Over 14: 57.1% (760,813) - Per Capita GDP: $4,135 Nambia was a German colony until 1915 when, following formation of the League of Nations, South Africa gained control of the country and imposed apartheid law. The country has operated as an independent parliamentary republic since 1990. About 35% of the population lives on less than $1/day and many rely on humanitarian food donations to survive. HIV/AIDS is a serious issue, and partly as a result, life expectancy decreased more than 10% between 1991 and 2001.
6) The Republic Of South Africa - Population: 49,109,471 - Unemployment Rate: 22.9% - % Unemployed Over 14: 58.9% (20,016,283) - Per Capita GDP: $5,684 South Africa was under British rule until 1961, when it gained independence and adopted a parliamentary democracy. As current host of the World Cup, this data might very well have changed as the nation implemented significant transportation infrastructure and other facilities to accommodate the influx of fans into the country. South Africa is the African nation most affected by HIV/AIDS, with 5.5 million estimated cases.
5) Bosnia and Herzegovina - Population: 4,621,598 - Unemployment Rate: 23.4% - % Unemployed Over 14: 58.5% (2,279,164) - Per Capita GDP: $4,346 Bosnia and Herzegovina's war for independence ruined the national infrastructure and was part of one of the most brutal conflicts in the past 50 years. Prior to gaining independence in 1992, the country was part of Yugoslavia. Recently, UNICEF reports that its infrastructure has finally returned to pre-war status.
4) The West Bank and The Gaza Strip - Population: 2,514,845 - Unemployment Rate: 25.7% - % Unemployed Over 14: 69.8% (961,978) - Per Capita GDP: $2,900 The West Bank and Gaza Strip was part of Palestine until the United Nations divided the country to form Israel in 1948. The region is one of the most unstable in the world. Gaza is controlled by Hamas while its rival, the Palestinian Authority, rules the West Bank. Recently, Israel has put increased restrictions on trade in the region, weakening GDP and employment.
3) The People's Democratic Republic Of Algeria - Population: 34,586,184 - Unemployment Rate: 27.3% - % Unemployed Over 14: 50.7% (12,677,946) - Per Capita GDP: $6,900 Algeria was a French colony until it gained independence in 1962. The country was in violent conflict for nearly a decade after President Boudiaf was assassinated in 1992. Terrorism and armed conflict reigned through the beginning of the 2000's. The nation is slowly returning to stability.
2) The Republic Of Armenia - Population: 2,966,802 - Unemployment Rate: 28.6% - % Unemployed Over 14: 61.9% (1,459,978) - Per Capita GDP: $6,310 The country gained independence as a nation in 1918, and from the Soviet Union in 1991. Since independence from the U.S.S.R., economic conditions have resulted in a very high emigration rate. Currently, at least 60% of ethnic Armenians live outside of the country. A trade blockade imposed by Turkey and Azerbaijan as the result of a border dispute hinder Armenia's economy.
1) The Republic Of Macedonia - Population: 2,072,086 - Unemployment Rate: 33.8% - % Unemployed Over 14: 65.2% (1,102,416) - Per Capita GDP: $9,000 Like several of the other countries on this list, Macedonia was also part of Yugoslavia until 1991. While it missed most of the apocalyptic violence that engulfed the Balkans, the nation suffers from its own difficulties. Like the rest of the region, ethnic conflicts have brought Macedonia to the brink of civil war several times.
Michael B. Sauter, Ashley C. Allen, and Douglas A. McIntyre are editors of 24/7 Wall St.