Development indicators

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  • Created by: alyshia1
  • Created on: 25-01-16 18:49


An idicator provides specific information on the state of development of a country. 

Simple indicator- Measures one thing 

Composite indicator- Measures a collection of things together. 

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Infant Mortality rate

This is the number of deaths of infants under 1 year old per 1000 live births. A high infant moratality will suggest that the country has little access or poor healthcare, poor sanitation and education on prgancy. While a low will suggest the opposite, good helathcare, sanitaion and education.


  • Very easy to understand 
  • Can see trands and patterns and compare with other countries 
  • Focuses on one of the most significant aspects of development 


  • Generalisation of the whole country- not taking into account the differences for example ghanas north/south divide
  • Hard to get an accurate figure as they could be a result of social or political factors such as the one child policy 


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Human developed index

Devised by the UN in the 1990s, it focuses on development being about peoples ability to choice rather than the economice aspect. A composite indicator, looking into GDP per capita, Life expectancy and Literacy. The HDI ranges from 0 (least developed) to 1 (most developed) 


  • Gives poor economic countries recognition for their improvments 
  • It brings human development back into the centre of focus 
  • Allows for anomalies to be spotted in each


  • Literacy rate is measured by years not quality, which will effect the results 
  • No mention of human rights 
  • it is a generalisation of the whole country 
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GDP per capita

The total value of goods and services produced by a country each year. A quantative and simple indicator thats main disadvantages was that it does not take into account the living costs of each country however this is no longer the case as it now uses purchasing power parity (PPP) that consides the living costs and adjusts the GDP to reflect this. 


  • Easy way to compare each countries 
  • Effectively highlights the developmet gap 
  • The most widely used indicator which means almost everyone will bw able to understand 
  • Gives an idea to development potential 


  • No indication of income distribution in a country- IN china the urban areas earn 3.3% more than the rural areas this will create a social problem due to rural to urban migration 
  • No mention how the money is invested by the government- is the majority being used to impore living standards or is there corruption.
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Happy planet index

A composite indicator that measures the extent to which countries deliever long sustainable lives for their people. It measures Life expectency, experienced well being (people are asked to rate their happiness out of 10) and Ecological footprint- consumption per capita to the amount of land within the country. the countries are rated form 0 to 100



  • It demonstrates that western ideas of development are not sustainable 
  • Shows that producing happy lives now abd in the future matters towards development of a country 
  • It tells us that developmment is not just about wealth 


  • Many high ranking countries are tainted with human right issues. Sount American countries rate high but they face many human right issues 
  • No country is able to have the combine success of all three 
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