About 40% of the country's population lives on less than $ 2 a day.
Since 1975 the nation's economy has been growing, which allows the country to join middle-income countries. Fishing is one of the main resources and has large reserves of tuna, lobster and blue marlin. Over the years, and thanks to tourism, the islands have achieved a sharp increase in GDP. Agriculture is not very advanced and mainly corn, beans, coffee, sugar cane and peanuts are cultivated. Through innovative technologies, such as drip irrigation, small water reservoirs, water recycling and condensation, the islands try to save the little water they can use
Grouping of sails in the Porto Grande, in Mindelo on the island of São Vicente.
The strategic position of the islands as a maritime and air crossroads in the middle of the Atlantic has seen its importance increase with the significant improvements made to the port of the city of Mindelo, the Porto Grande, on the island of São Vicente and to the Amílcar Cabral airports, on the island of Sal, and Francisco Mendes, on the island of Santiago. In December 2007, a new international airport was opened on the island of Boa Vista, the Aristides Pereira, while in 2009 that of São Vicente, the Cesária Évora Airport.
In 1983 in Mindelo ship assistance and ship repair centers were opened. The main ports are those of Mindelo, Porto Grande, and Praia, but all the other smaller islands have port facilities. All the Cape Verde airports, with the exception of those of Brava and Santo Antão, offer regular scheduled services. The archipelago has 3 050 km of roads, of which 1 010 are paved, mainly in cobblestone.
The future economic prospects of the country depend heavily on the flow of aid, from support for tourism, from remittances from emigrants, from work on behalf of neighboring African states and from government development programs.
Tourism has grown considerably in recent years. Big hotels have been built to increase it. In particular, on the islands of Boa Vista and Sal, hotel structures have been erected for a total of 8 522 and 14 999 beds respectively.
Cape Verde is served by 4 international airports and 3 domestic ones. The islands that have an international airport are São Vicente, Sal, Boa Vista and Santiago. The islands with domestic airports are São Nicolau, Maio and Fogo. The airports of Santo Antão and Brava are currently deactivated. In 2012, around 533 877 tourists visited the archipelago, surpassing the number of inhabitants for the first time.