The Democratic Republic of the Congo, or DRC, is a resource-rich Central African country known for its diamonds and other mineral resources. Competing regional and international interests destabilized the country for decades beginning with independence from Belgium in 1960. Despite a short-lived peace agreement in 2003, formal violence lasted until peace talks began in 2013. According to a 2013 report released by the U.S. Department of State, conflict-related violence and human rights abuses continued despite official peace. Such long-term instability has been devastating for the DRC's economy.
Average Annual Income
Despite its vast natural resources, the DRC is a poor country. The average annual income is just $400 U.S. as of 2013, reports the CIA World Fact Book. About 71 percent of people living in the DRC live below the global poverty rate, according to the World Bank. Economic inequality is high; the poorest 10 percent of these earn only 2.3 percent of the total national income, according to the CIA. Meanwhile, the wealthiest 10 percent earn 34.7 percent.
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