Oceania is a geographic region that spans the western and eastern hemispheres and consists of Australasia, Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia. It covers an area of about 3,291,903 sq miles and a population of 40 million spread across 14 countries. This article looks at countries with the lowest per capita GDPs in Oceania, using numbers from the International Monetary Fund.
The Poorest Countries in Oceania
Kiribati - $1,641
The per capita income of Kiribati is $1,641 US dollars, which makes it the poorest country in Oceania. The public sector is the dominant sector of the economy and accounts for about 50% of the GDP and two-thirds of the formal employment. A minuscule proportion of the labor force earns a salary while a large proportion depends on fishing and subsistence farming. The economy largely depends on international remittance of citizens working overseas. Several crucial sectors of the economy, such as the financial sectors, are underdeveloped and hinder the growth of other sectors.
Solomon Islands - $2,270
The average yearly income in the Solomon Islands is $2,270. Tourism, gold mining, fishing, and exports of copra and palm oil are the largest contributors to the economy that also relies heavily upon remittance. Imports and exports equal 98% of the GDP. The financial sector is underdeveloped, and nearly all the enterprises are privately owned.
Papua New Guinea - $2,530
As of most recent IMF estimates, the average per capita income in Papua New Guinea sits at $2,530. The economy is divided between the formal sector and the informal sector. The country relies on the export of natural resources while its population mainly engages in subsistence farming and fishing, and other small-scale economic activities. In the recent past, the government has been involved in activities aimed at regulating the private industry including increasing the cost of running private businesses.
The Major Industries in Oceania
Tourism is an important industry in Oceania, due to the fact that every country in the region has coastline on either the Pacific or the Indian Ocean (or both). It is estimated that a single country such as Fiji generates revenues of about $1 billion annually from tourism. However, although the natural setting is suited for tourism, some of the countries lack the proper infrastructure and are relatively inaccessible, which keeps them off the radar of most travellers.