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The Top 21 Countries Where Inflation Is the Worst

The Top 21 Countries Where Inflation Is the Worst

Consumer inflation just hit 8.5% in the US. If you live and work in the U.S. and you’re not a multimillionaire, you probably feel the pressure of inflation. I know I do!

That being said, I wanted to step back and put our situation in perspective. 8.5% inflation is nothing compared to some other places. All figures used here are annual inflation.

The Bottom 21

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Here are the Top 21 countries where inflation is the worst:

19. Nigeria: 15.7%

Africa’s largest economy hit double digit inflation in 2016 and hasn’t been under 10% since. It peaked at over 18% in 2021 and has been slowly decreasing since.

19. Lithuania: 15.7%

This country had inflation under 5% for over a decade. It’s been steadily increasing over the past year.

19. Ghana: 15.7%

Another up-and-coming economy in Africa, Ghana was chosen as the site for the Twitter headquarters in Africa. Inflation was under 8% in May 2021, but it has been steadily rising since.

18. Belarus: 15.9%

Sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine have been effective against this economy. Inflation had been steady for a year and was at 9.9% in February before this jump.

17. Russia: 16.7%

Likewise, sanctions over the Russia-Ukraine war have effectively rocked Russia’s economy in the short-term, nearly doubling inflation. Russia has the world’s 11th largest economy, and is the largest on this list. Its inflation was around 2% at the beginning of 2020 and had already been steadily rising — hitting over 9% in February 2022. 

16. Sierra Leone: 17.94%

This tiny West African nation is rich in mineral deposits, but is infamous for its blood diamonds and suffered a civil war from 1991 to 2002. Its inflation numbers had been dropping for years and just went under 10% as of the beginning of 2011. Since then it has been steadily rising. This inflation figure is from December 2021, the last one it reported.

15. Sri Lanka: 18.7%

Sri Lanka is located on a small island in the Indian Ocean near India and it has just under 22 million inhabitants. Like the U.S., its rate of inflation was under 4% just a year ago, and has been steadily rising.

14. Moldova: 22.2%

This small Eastern European nation borders Ukraine to the West and has under 3 million inhabitants. Its inflation was under 3% a year ago but has been steadily rising.

13. Cuba: 23.3%

This nation has a Socialist economy and has been under Western sanctions since the 1960’s. Until recently, inflation figures were only reported annually, and per official reports they held it under 7% since 2006. This changed this year, skyrocketing to over 60% for all the months reported in 2021. It dropped from 77% in December 2021 to 23% January 2022, the last inflation report for this island nation.

12. Haiti: 23.95%

One of the poorest nations in the world, it is located on an island in the Caribbean. Inflation was actually going down until September 2021, dipping below 11% in August. This report is from January 2022.

11. Angola: 27.28%

This African nation’s inflation has been quite high for some time — it’s been over 10% since 2015. In this report from February, inflation lowered for the first time in a year. 

10. Ethiopia: 33.6%

Misery is no stranger to Ethiopia. Their inflation was already steady around 20% when it began steadily increasing in early 2021. There is also an ongoing bloody conflict waging since October 2020 in this East African nation, which has claimed around 10,000 casualties per this BBC report.

9. Iran: 34.7%

Another nation that has experienced US sanctions, Iran is the 2nd largest economy on this list, and along with Russia, boasts over $1 trillion in nominal GDP.

8. Argentina: 52.3%

While Argentina has the second largest economy is South America, it has suffered inflation for decades. It briefly went under 40% in late 2020, but has been steadily rising since.

7. Turkey: 61.14%

This nation has been at the center of attention for all the wrong economic reasons lately. Turkey has had currency issues and the central bank interest rate is at 14%. Despite high interest rates, inflation is showing no signs of slowing down. It skyrocketed past 20% in November 2021, and has been going up every month since. 

6. Suriname: 61.5%

This tiny South American economy has suffered a massive increase in inflation since the beginning of 2020, when it was under 10%. It has been over 40% for a full year.

5. Zimbabwe: 72.7%

This nation’s inflation is actually way down — it was closer to 800% in 2020. However it has been gradually rising from in the low 50s to where it is now since last August.

4. Syria: 139%

This war-torn nation has seen a lot bigger problems than inflation in the past decade. Numbers are difficult to obtain, and it reported inflation only three times in 2021. This was the last report, from August.

3. Lebanon: 215%

Just south of Syria is a democracy that has seen one disaster after another since 2020. It has seen a national strike, COVID-19, and a massive explosion that devastated their main port. To make things worse, in December 2021 Saudi Arabia and its allies cut ties due to the influence of the Iran-backed Shia political and military group Hezbollah. The Deputy Prime Minister recently announced that Lebanon and its central bank are bankrupt.

Inflation in Lebanon actually peaked in January around 240% and has slightly decreased since then.

2. Sudan: 260%

Sudan has had its share of problems. A bloody civil war between the north and south cost 1.5 million lives and eventually resulted in South Sudan gaining independence in 2011. 

Inflation in Sudan actually peaked at over 422% in July 2021, and has been steadily decreasing since. 

The Worst: Venezuela

Venezuela Inflation
Graphic courtesy of TradingEconomics

1. Venezuela: 284%

Venezuela has almost become synonymous with economic ruin, suffering and inflation. Hopefully, it has already seen the worst of it. While I cannot vouch for the honesty in this government’s reporting, the official figures show inflation peaked at 350,000 in 2019, though I have seen much larger numbers.

To their credit, Venezuela has actually been steadily lowering their inflation over the past year. The skyrocketing price of oil hasn’t hurt this oil-rich country which has an autocratic government and a socialist economy.

I was able to obtain these inflation figures from a great website called TradingEconomics, which I highly recommend if you enjoyed this article.

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This content is for news and educational purposes only. It does not constitute trading advice. Past performance does not indicate future results. Do not invest more than you can afford to lose. The author of this article may hold assets mentioned in the piece.


Alexandre Lores is a personal finance writer from Tampa Bay, Florida, with the goal to help one million people achieve financial freedom. He has spent over five years studying markets and economics, finding Bitcoin in 2017 and never turning back. He frequently appears on TV and in online news articles and is a regular Twitter spaces host.

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