The relationship between economic development and quality of life- a comaprison of Norway, Mexico and North Korea

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Geography Global issues development revision
The relationship between economic development and quality of life
Economic development is usually thought to lead to higher quality of life as the
more money available the more that it can be spent on raising the quality of life.
However, other factors can mean that a high economic development doesn't always
lead to a higher quality of life.
Economic development indicators tend to show Norway as being the most
developed as it has a high GDP per capita and this leads to higher quality of life as
more money is spent on public services such as public health which accounts of 8%
of Norway's GDP spend. Norway had the highest life expectancy out of Norway
(MEDC), Mexico (NIC) and North Korea (LEDC) at 81, showing economic
development and quality of life are linked.
Mexico's percentage of GDP spent on public health is the second highest at 3.1%
and has a life expectancy of 76, showing that economic development can influence
quality of life.
Economic development is derived from economic structure with poorer countries
having higher amounts of the economy based in the agricultural (primary) sector.
Norway's well developed and only 1.4% of its economy is based on agriculture,
Mexico has 3.4% of its economy based on agriculture whereas North Korea has
25% of its economy based on agriculture. This shows that economic development is
influenced by economic structure when levels of development increase, the
percentage of the economy in agriculture decreases.
A country can have a high GDP but if the money isn't spent where it's needed then
the quality of life can be low. Military spending is a cause of this and North Korea
has 25% of its GDP spent on military compared to 1.4% in Norway and 0.6% in
Mexico. This is due to North Korea's military regime and so it has the money to
spend on weapons and war but not on public services which suggests that North
Korea has lower development due the money they have not being spend where it is
needed most. This is shown through North Korea's life expectancy of 68 which is
the lowest of the 3 countries. Also the average food intake in calories is only 2114
compared to 2500 in Mexico and 3114 in Norway, suggesting a high military
expenditure can lead to lower quality of life. This is also illustrated through the
famines that have occurred in North Korea recently. Therefore economic
development isn't the only factor that can influence quality of life as how wealth is
spent is also important.
However, high economic development can lead to lower quality of life indicators
such as suicide rates. Norway has the highest suicide rates, even though it has the
highest GDP per capita, at 6.7% compared to the second richest country of
Mexico at 1.5%. This suggests that economic development has consequences

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Geography Global issues development revision
effecting quality of life as it will mean people will work longer hours in more
stressful jobs which can be a trigger of extreme stress and suicide. This shows
that economic development doesn't always lead to higher quality of life.
Quality of life can be influenced by culture as literacy rate in Mexico is lower
than that of North Korea which is the opposite of what would be expected
considering the GDP levels.…read more

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