6 July 2017: Congratulations to Equatorial Guinea which graduated from the LDC category on 4 June 2017. This was 3½ years after the United Nations General Assembly decided on the graduation date and 8 years after the CDP recommended the country for graduation.
This means that the list of least developed countries (LDCs) is getting smaller – of the remaining 47 LDCs, Vanuatu and Angola will graduate next, in 2020 and 2021, respectively.
To graduate from the LDC category the country has to meet two of the three graduation thresholds of the LDC criteria: gross national income (GNI) per capita, human assets index (HAI) and economic vulnerability index (EVI). Alternatively, graduation can also be recommended if the LDC meets twice the graduation threshold of GNI per capita (the income-only criterion). Equatorial Guinea graduated based on fulfilling the income-only criterion. Despite its relatively high income, derived predominantly from oil exports, the country continues to have low levels of human assets and its economy remains undiversified.