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This early method of dividing up the world was from a western European perspective.
Europeans saw themselves as the first world. The wealthier regions they colonised, such
as North America and Australia were the second world. Poorer countries were then
grouped as the third world. It then became clear there were an insufficient number of
divisions as the variety between the poorer countries were increasing.…read more

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Many poor countries have a rich culture and
society. It was negative to suggest that culture was at a low level just because the country
was economically poor. LDC therefore became `less economically developed country'
(LEDC) and MDC became `more economically developed country' (MEDC).
Since the late 20th century the world order has changed a lot. Globalisation means there are
more contacts and trade between countries than ever before. Some LEDCs are growing
more rapidly than most developed countries.…read more

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They have borrowed large sums of money from other
countries or from world organisations such as the World Bank, but earning enough to
repay the debt with interest are taking funds that should be used for development
projects. This division is similar to NICs and LEDCs, or third and fourth world countries.
The category of former centrally planned economies covers a wide range of countries
today. Russia still has considerable communist influence.…read more

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Country GNP GNI HDI Birth Death Infant Number Literac Percentag
per per rate rate mortality of y Rate e of
Capita Capita per per per 1,000 doctors (%) population
(US $) (US $) 1,000 1,000 live per with clean
per per births 1,000 access to
Year year per year people water
USA 43,743 44,710 0.94 14.0 8.2 6 2.6 100.0 100
Japan 38,984 38,410 0.94 8.3 9.0 3 2.0 100.0 100
UK 37,632 40,180 0.94 12.0 9.9 5 2.3 100.…read more

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Some countries such as France have tried to
encourage career women to have children, using tax advantages and benefits.
Death rate is a poor indicator of development. Almost all countries have low death rates
today. The more economically developed the country, the higher the death rate. When
birth rates fall, there are fewer people. Improved healthcare allows most people to live
longer. Death rate increases because there are more old people.
Some measures of development can give a narrow or confusing picture.…read more

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Climatic hazards such as drought regularly strike Africa, especially Ethiopia, Eritrea and
Somalia in the east. These limit future development and destroy what may have already
been achieved.
Poverty causes poverty. Low life expectancy and low standards of living make an almost
impossible base from which to develop and expand. The poorest countries are those in, or
just emerging from, civil wars: Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Somalia and Sierra
Leone.…read more

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People abuse the land, but there are sometimes understandable reasons for doing so.
Farmers on the verge of starvation are unlikely to be concerned about the rainforest that
they are cutting down to try and feed their families. Throughout the Sahel region just
south of the Sahara, deforestation and overgrazing have increased desertification. Wildlife
has been sacrificed to poachers when they could have been the basis of a successful tourist
industry. Poor governments have little spare to protect and develop environmental
resources.…read more

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Economic Factors
World trade is often unfair. Richer countries want to pay as little as possible for their raw
materials, many of which come from developing countries. There is often more supply than
demand, which keeps prices low. Poorer countries find themselves competing against each
other for business and have lowered their prices to attract buyers. The result is that
farmers don't receive enough to support their own families.
Exports by countries at lesser stages of development are mainly exports of primary goods.…read more


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