Why is it becoming hard to classify countries’ development?
- Every country is different and changes over time
- Wealth doesn’t mean a country is developed
- Some countries have rich companies but poor population e.g. Venezuela and United Arab Emirates
- China has a Communist government but is quickly industrialising
- The UK is classed as a rich industrialising country but now the manufacturing industry has declined and the UK is service based
- Some countries are in debt with high interest rates so money they could have used to develop is instead needed to pay wealthy countries back
The classification does not fit well because countries are always changing; there is a variety of economies.
The HDI index is based on life expectancy rate, literacy rate and purchasing power. Why is this a more useful way of measuring development as opposed to a single indicator such as wealth?
- HDI is much broader way of looking at development as it combines health, education and wealth
- The death rate is becoming less useful as countries have an ageing population which will have increasing death rates
- Economic factors such as the GNI do not tell you about the quality of life people have
- The best way to measure development is to use social factors as well as economic factors
People may be poor yet they are educated, live to a good age and their children are healthy.
Factors Affecting Development
- Corrupt politicians enrich themselves at their country’s expense so money is not available for education, health services, roads, clean water and sanitation
- In Zimbabwe, highly productive land owned by farmers was taken by the government. Inflation exceeded 1,000%
· Low life expectancies and low standard of living make development almost impossible
· Poor countries export primary goods which richer countries buy for very cheap, process it and sell the final product for more
· High supply of primary products and countries try to compete and out pay each other
· Poor water quality causes disease, debilitating people and preventing economic development