Why some countries are classified as developed and others are not

What is a developed country?

Though there may not be a standard, set definition, a developed country is a country with a relatively high economic growth and security. Some of the most common criteria for evaluating a country’s degree of development are per capita income or gross domestic product (GDP), level of industrialization, general standard of living and the amount of widespread infrastructure. Increasingly other non-economic factors are included in evaluating an economy or country’s degree of development, such as the Human Development Index (HDI) which reflects relative degrees of education, literacy and health. The outcome of the development ultimately should be the desirability or how appealing it is to live in a particular country.

Characteristics of developed and developing economies

Developed economies Less developed economies
Population low birth rate

higher life expectancy

low death rate due to better medical facilities

ageing population


Developing countries have higher rate of natural increase. Death rates have fallen faster than birth rates; birth rates are significantly higher than in developed countries, whereas death rates are only somewhat higher than in developed countries. Tradition, lack of contraception, poverty and lack of education are the main causes of high population growth rate.
Education High level of literary, Highly trained workforce. Workers are paid high rates of wages. Low level of literacy with low skill levels of the workforce results in low wages of the workforce. Government is the main provider of education services and have low percentage of public expenditure allocated for education.
Economic structure These economies usually have a larger tertiary sector and most of the workforce is engaged in service industries. The country produces and exports high technology products or high value added goods. Primary sector is the major contributor to the GDP of the country. Low GDP per capita is there. Usually exports agricultural goods or natural resources and imports value added goods from developed countries.

Next topic: Absolute and relative poverty

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