The 10 Most and Least Developed Countries
Photo: Etrenard via Flickr Creative Commons
Niger (Human Development Index: 0.295) is grappling with political instability and outbreaks of violence by Tuareg rebels. The West African nation of 16.5 million also has one of the lowest literacy rates in the world. It is a leading producer of uranium and has many other natural resources, including oil and gold.