Is Honduras a Third World Country?

green trees beside body of water during daytime

Yes, unfortunately. Even though calling it “third-world” is not a scheme to undermine Honduras in any way, Honduras possesses hydra-headed strengths that can foster economic development. However, the low level of development still scars any spectator.

In this article, I’ll take you through the reality of Honduras and why it still falls behind as a third-world country.

If you’ve been looking for an explanation of some sort, this is the source you need. Let’s get started!

Why’s Honduras a Third World Country?

Honduras remains a third-world country because it has failed to take advantage of its strengths. Honduras borders the Caribbean Sea, between Nicaragua and Guatemala.

Investors call this placement a strategic one, especially since Honduras has a thriving industrial base. In their opinion, diversifying the country’s exports is the fastest way to scale up its GDP, but none of this has been done.

Before 2018, Honduras implemented macroeconomic policies that were anchored on the Fiscal Responsibility Law. This influenced a growth rate of 3.7% and 2.7%, respectively in 2018 and 2019. These figures were also well above those obtained in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

No doubt, Honduras has made commendable improvements in its economy. However, the following features still keep the country in the third-world cadre –


Non-alignment with NATO, the Soviet Union, or any other communist bloc is the primary determinant for whether or not a country is the third world.

Those countries aligned with Warsaw were called second-world. Non-aligned countries then fell into the third world category. Though these realities no longer exist, categorization is still important in teaching history.

High Level of Insecurity

Insecurity here covers the insecurity of life and food. While a good number of the Honduran population suffers from malnutrition, a good number also suffer from obesity. Shocking, right? I’ll tell you why.

According to World Food Programme, the lack of food and attempt at urbanization in Honduras have led to unhealthy consumption of processed foods that are rich in fats, salts, and sugar.

Given the urbanization spree, there’s reduced physical activity amongst residents – hence, obesity. This has also adversely affected residents’, leading to chronic health conditions.

Poverty, Corruption, and Inequality

If you’re wondering which countries are the poorest in the West, Honduras tops the list. Before the 2020 twin shock, about 25% of the Honduran population languished in abject poverty. In 2014, there was a slight decline in the figures; however, the rural communities still lived below the poverty line.

This reality spiked the rural inequality index from 0.431 to 0.486 between 2014 and 2019. Needless to say, the issues of corruption in the country which are rife. The judiciary in Honduras is far from independent. Rights are flagrantly abused. Violence is alarming.

Over the years, there has been a call to strengthen the quality of Honduran institutions, including the improvement of governance structure. If the development of any nation will be achieved, then accountable systems must be put in place to improve transparency, strengthen the citizens’ capacities, and reduce crime. This is what Honduras lacks.

Migration and Brain Drain

If you look around most developing countries, the feature they all have in common is the yearly migration rate. For lack of development, these countries are fast losing their best hands even without knowing it.

The situation is worse in the health sector. Even though Honduras has made commendable progress in its health sector, it has still not been able to keep its best hands in the country. Within the first 9 months of 2019, the number of migrants surged from about 47,900 (which was the case in 2017) to a whopping figure of 205,039.

The reasons for migration are not hidden – food insecurity, violence, craving for better working opportunities, and so much more.


Given the level of insecurity in Honduras, I wouldn’t advise anyone to live in Honduras. However, as a developing country, Honduras has a bit of work to do, especially concerning burning issues of corruption and insecurity.

Nevertheless, all hope is not lost. If the focus is right, Honduras will experience a great transition to development. Until then, appreciate Honduras for its beauty, heritage, and culture.

Frequently Asked Questions About Honduras

What is Honduras known for?

Honduras is known for its rich agricultural economy, history, a rich deposit of natural resources, healthy food, and rich textile industry, amongst others.

What is the safest country in Latin (South) America?

Uruguay is the safest South American country. In the 2021 Global Peace Index, Uruguay ranked 47th out of 163 other nations in the world. It would interest you to know that Uruguay was nowhere close to the most sought nations in the world.

However, its safety score has become a major attraction. Thanks again to development – the government has equipped the country to become the delight of every tourist. Following this, Uruguay is becoming a top destination spot for anyone seeking to have a good time away from home.

What is the most powerful country in South America?

If we’re going to judge based on the country with the greatest number of active military officials in the Caribbean and in Latin America, then Brazil will top the list as the most powerful country. According to a 2022 Statista Survey, there is 360,000 military personnel in Brazil. Colombia and Mexico follow suit with 295,000 and 250,000, respectively.

Who is the No 1 Army in the World?

China has the largest armed forces you can come across in the world. According to a Statista Survey, China has about 2 million active military personnel. India, the United States, North Korea, Russia, and Pakistan follow suit with the respective figures — 1.45 million, 1.39 million, 1.2 million, 850,000, and 640,000.

Who is the poorest country in the world?

Has to be the Republic of Burundi. Burundi is a small East African country ravaged by the Hutu-Tutsi conflict, leaving about 90% of its citizens in abject poverty. Mind you; the civil war formally ended over 15 years ago. Yet, the effect of conflict still holds the country bound. In 2022, Burundi’s GDP reflects only 856.