A developing country, also called a less developed country or underdeveloped country, is a nation with a less developed industrial base, and a low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. On the other hand, since the late 1990s developing countries tended to demonstrate higher growth rates than the developed ones. There is no universal, agreed-upon criterion for what makes a country developing versus developed and which countries fit these two categories, although there are general reference points such as a nation's GDP per capita compared to other nations. Also, the general term less-developed country should not be confused with the specific least developed country.
There is criticism of the use of the term developing country. The term implies inferiority of a developing country or undeveloped country compared to a developed country, which many countries dislike. It assumes a desire to develop along the traditional Western model of economic development which a few countries, such as Cuba and Bhutan, choose not to follow. An alternative measurement that has been suggested is that of gross national happiness, measuring the actual satisfied economies but lower GDP per capita than other developing nations are often categorized under the term newly industrialized countries.
According to authors such as Walt Whitman Rostow, developing countries are in transition from traditional lifestyles towards the modern lifestyle which began in the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries.
- 1 Definition
- 2 Measure and concept of development
- 3 Factors stimulating growth
- 4 Factors hindering growth
- 5 Prevention of negative factors
- 6 Typology of countries
- 7 Criticism of the term "developing country"
- 8 List of developing economies
- 9 List of graduated developing economies
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
Various terms are used for whatever is not a developed country. Terms used include less developed country or less economically developed country, and for the more extreme, least developed country or least economically developed country.
Criteria for what is not a developed country can be obtained by inverting the factors that define a developed country:
- people have lower life expectancy
- people have less education
- people have less money (income)
Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, defined a developed country as "one that allows all its citizens to enjoy a free and healthy life in a safe environment." But according to the United Nations Statistics Division,
- There is no established convention for the designation of "developed" and "developing" countries or areas in the United Nations system.
- The designations "developed" and "developing" are intended for statistical convenience and do not necessarily express a judgment about the stage reached by a particular country or area in the development process.
The UN also notes,
- In common practice, Japan in Asia, Canada and the United States in northern America, Australia and New Zealand in Oceania and western Europe are considered "developed" regions or areas. In international trade statistics, the Southern African Customs Union is also treated as a developed region and Israel as a developed country; countries emerging from the former Yugoslavia are treated as developing countries; and countries of Central Europe and of the Commonwealth of Independent States (code 172) in Europe are not included under either developed or developing regions.
On the other hand, according to the classification from International Monetary Fund (IMF) before April 2004, all countries of Central and Eastern Europe (including Central European countries that still belongs to the "Eastern Europe Group" in the UN institutions) as well as the former Soviet Union (USSR) countries in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) and Mongolia, were not included under either developed or developing regions, but rather were referred to as "countries in transition"; however they are now widely regarded (in the international reports) as "developing countries".
The IMF uses a flexible classification system that considers "(1) per capita income level, (2) export diversification—so oil exporters that have high per capita GDP would not make the advanced classification because around 70% of its exports are oil, and (3) degree of integration into the global financial system."
The World Bank classifies countries into four income groups. These are set each year on July 1. Economies were divided according to 2016 GNI per capita using the following ranges of income:
- Low income countries had GNI per capita of US$1,025 or less.
- Lower middle income countries had GNI per capita between US$1,026 and US$4,035.
- Upper middle income countries had GNI per capita between US$4,036 and US$12,475.
- High income countries had GNI per capita above US$12,476.
The World Bank classifies all low- and middle-income countries as developing but notes, "The use of the term is convenient; it is not intended to imply that all economies in the group are experiencing similar development or that other economies have reached a preferred or final stage of development. Classification by income does not necessarily reflect development status."
Along with the current level of development, countries may be classified by how much this has changed over some amount of time. This may be by absolute numbers or country ranking.
- countries that were more less-developed, and are less less-developed (also developing country)
- countries that were less-developed, and are about the same (developing country)
- countries that were less less-developed, and are more less-developed (developing country)
Measure and concept of development
The development of a country is measured with statistical indexes such as income per capita (per person) (gross domestic product), life expectancy, the rate of literacy (ignoring reading addiction[clarification needed]), et cetera. The UN has developed the Human Development Index (HDI), a compound indicator of the above statistics, to gauge the level of human development for countries where data is available. The UN sets Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from a blueprint developed by all of the world's countries and leading development institutions, in order to evaluate growth.
Developing countries are, in general, countries that have not achieved a significant degree of industrialization relative to their populations, and have, in most cases, a medium to low standard of living. There is a strong association between low income and high population growth.
The terms utilized when discussing developing countries refer to the intent and to the constructs of those who utilize these terms. Other terms sometimes used are less developed countries (LDCs), least economically developed countries (LEDCs), "underdeveloped nations" or Third World nations, and "non-industrialized nations". Conversely, developed countries, most economically developed countries (MEDCs), First World nations and "industrialized nations" are the opposite end of the spectrum.
To moderate the euphemistic aspect of the word developing, international organizations have started to use the term less economically developed country (LEDCs) for the poorest nations—which can, in no sense, be regarded as developing. That is, LEDCs are the poorest subset of LDCs. This may moderate against a belief that the standard of living across the entire developing world is the same.
The concept of the developing nation is found, under one term or another, in numerous theoretical systems having diverse orientations — for example, theories of decolonization, liberation theology, Marxism, anti-imperialism, and political economy.
Another important indicator is the sectoral changes that have occurred since the stage of development of the country. On an average, countries with a 50% contribution from the Secondary sector of Manufacturing have grown substantially. Similarly countries with a tertiary Sector stronghold also see greater rate of Economic Development.
Some researchers in development economics, such as Theodore Schultz who won a Nobel Prize in 1979, have found that literate farmers in developing countries are more productive than illiterate farmers. They therefore recommend investing in human capital (education, health, etc.) as an effective tool for economic development. Others, such as Mohammed Tamim, believe that economic development is measurable in educational level from primary school to the university. They noticed that wherever the educational level is raised, the level of development is also raised. They conclude that the percentage of the schooled population is proportional to the economic growth rate and inversely proportional in the demographic growth rate. The Take-Off of Walt Whitman Rostow can start in a country if its population is completely schooled. It is therefore necessary for the organization of a worldwide education program, itself conditioned by another worldwide program of birth control and the establishment of a worldwide organization for the implementation of this development strategy.
Factors stimulating growth
- Human Capital 
- Trade Policy: Countries with more restrictive policies have not grown as fast as countries with open and less distorted trade policies.
- Investment: Investment has a positive effect on growth.
- Knowledge Gap 
Factors hindering growth
- Illness/Disease (malaria, tuberculosis, AIDS, etc.): Illness imposes high and regressive cost burdens on families in developing countries.
- Malnutrition/Underdevelopment of the body and brain: More than 200 million children under five years of age in developing countries do not reach their developmental potential.
- Knowledge gap 
- Political instability 
- Political corruption
Prevention of negative factors
- Mobile Health Units: Costing $1.26 per patient, mobile health units help control malaria and sanitation of water. The estimated cost per infant and child death averted was $200–$250.
- Education 
Typology of countries
There are several terms used to classify countries into rough levels of development. Classification of any given country differs across sources, and sometimes these classifications or the specific terminology used is considered disparaging. Use of the term "market" instead of "country" usually indicates specific focus on the characteristics of the countries' capital markets as opposed to the overall economy.
- Developed countries and developed markets
- Developing countries include, in decreasing order of economic growth or size of the capital market:
Developing countries can also be categorized by geography:
Other classifications include:
- Heavily indebted poor countries, a definition by a program of the IMF and World Bank
- Transition economy, moving from a centrally planned to market-driven economy
Criticism of the term "developing country"
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (March 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
There is some criticism of the use of the term "developing country". The term implies inferiority of a "developing country" or "undeveloped country" compared to a "developed country", which many countries dislike. It is criticized for being too positive and too negative.
It assumes a desire to "develop" along the traditional Western model of economic development, which a few countries, such as Cuba and Bhutan, choose not to follow.
The concept of "development" rests on the assumption that Modernization theory holds. Modernization theory, as the dominant development theory of the late 19th and 20th centuries, has largely contributed to the definition of "development". In short, it argues that there is only one way to achieve "modernity" and "development" - that of "Western" nation-states. Largely challenged today, modernization theory still holds an important role in defining "development".
The term "developing" implies mobility and does not acknowledge that development may be in decline or static in some countries, particularly in southern African states worst affected by HIV/AIDS. In such cases, the term "developing country" may be considered a euphemism. The term implies homogeneity between such countries, which vary widely. The term also implies homogeneity within such countries when wealth (and health) of the most and least affluent groups varies widely. Similarly, the term "developed country" incorrectly implies a lack of continuing economic development/growth in more-developed countries.
In general, development entails a modern infrastructure (both physical and institutional), and a move away from low value added sectors such as agriculture and natural resource extraction. Developed countries, in comparison, usually have economic systems based on continuous, self-sustaining economic growth in the tertiary sector of the economy and quaternary sector of the economy and high material standards of living. However, there are notable exceptions, as some countries considered developed have a significant component of primary industries in their national economies, e.g., Norway, Canada, Australia. The USA and Western Europe have a very important agricultural sector, and are major players in international agricultural markets. Also, natural resource extraction can be a very profitable industry (high value added), e.g., oil extraction.
An alternative measurement that has been suggested is that of gross national happiness, measuring the actual satisfaction of people as opposed to how fiscally wealthy a country is.
During the late 20th century, and with the advance of World-systems theory, the notions of "developed country" and "developing country" have started to slowly be replaced by the less-controversial, trade-based, notions of "core country", "semi-periphery country" and "periphery country". The terms of "developing countries" and "developed countries", although obsolete, still continue to be dominant, as part of the official narrative.
List of developing economies
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Republic of the Congo
- Costa Rica
- Côte d'Ivoire
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea
- The Gambia
- Marshall Islands
- Federated States of Micronesia
- Papua New Guinea
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa
- South Sudan
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- Developing countries not listed by IMF
List of graduated developing economies
- Hong Kong (since 1997)
- Israel (since 1997)
- Singapore (since 1997)
- South Korea (since 1997)
- Taiwan (since 1997)
- Cyprus (since 2001)
- Slovenia (since 2007)
- Malta (since 2008)
- Czech Republic (since 2009, since 2006 by World Bank)
- Slovakia (since 2009)
- Estonia (since 2011)
- Latvia (since 2014)
- Lithuania (since 2015)
- Puerto Rico (since 2016)
- Dependency Theory
- First World
- First World privilege
- First World problem
- Fourth World
- Modernization Theory
- Multinational corporation
- North-South divide
- Third World
- World-systems theory
- Sullivan, Arthur; Steven M. Sheffrin (2003). Economics: Principles in Action. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458: Pearson Prentice Hall. p. 471. ISBN 0-13-063085-3.
- Korotayev A., Zinkina J. On the structure of the present-day convergence. Campus-Wide Information Systems. Vol. 31 No. 2/3, 2014, pp. 139-152
- "Composition of macro geographical (continental) region".
- Karma Ura. "The Bhutanese development story" (PDF). Retrieved 17 September 2012.
- Paweł Bożyk (2006). "Newly Industrialized Countries". Globalization and the Transformation of Foreign Economic Policy. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 0-7546-4638-6.
- Mauro F. Guillén (2003). "Multinationals, Ideology, and Organized Labor". The Limits of Convergence. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-11633-4.
- Waugh, David (2000). "Manufacturing industries (chapter 19), World development (chapter 22)". Geography, An Integrated Approach (3rd ed.). Nelson Thornes Ltd. pp. 563, 576–579, 633, and 640. ISBN 0-17-444706-X.
- Mankiw, N. Gregory (2007). Principles of Economics (4th ed.). ISBN 0-324-22472-9.
- "United Nations Statistics Division- Standard Country and Area Codes Classifications (M49)". Unstats.un.org. Retrieved 2014-01-15.
- "Q. How does the WEO categorize advanced versus emerging and developing economies?". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved July 20, 2009.
- "How we Classify Countries". World Bank. Retrieved September 25, 2010.
- "Least Developed Countries Report 2012 - Unctad" (PDF).
- Mohammed Tamim, Le Spectre du tiers-monde, L'Harmattan, 2002
- Schultz, Theodore W. 1961. "Investment in human capital." American Economic Review 51, no. 1 (March): 1-17.
- Edwards, S. "Trade Orientation, Distortions and Growth In Developing Countries." (n.d.): n. pag. 1-37
- Harrison, Ann. "Openness and Growth: A Time-series, Cross-country Analysis for Developing Countries." Journal of Development Economics 48.2 (1996): 419-47. Web.
- Russel S. The economic burden of illness for households in developing countries: a review of studies focusing on malaria, tuberculosis, and human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2004
- Grantham-McGregor, Sally et al., the International Child Development Steering Group. “Developmental Potential in the First 5 Years for Children in Developing Countries.” Lancet 369.9555 (2007): 60–70. PMC. Web. 28 Nov. 2014.
- Walsh, J., and K. Warren. "Control of Infectious Disease in Developing Countries." New England Journal of Medicine 304.1 (1981): n. pag. 967-974
- Verspoor, Adriaan. "Pathways to Change: Improving the Quality of Education in Developing Countries. World Bank Discussion Papers 53." (n.d.):
- April 2008 World Economic Outlook
- "World Economic Outlook, April 2015, pp.150-153" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-06-26.
- "World Economic Outlook, Database—WEO Groups and Aggregates Information, April 2015". Retrieved 2015-06-26.
- "IMF Advanced Economies List. World Economic Outlook, May 1998, p. 134" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-01-15.
- "World Economic Outlook, April 2001, p.157" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-01-15.
- "World Economic Outlook, April 2007, p.204" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-01-15.
- "World Economic Outlook, April 2008, p.236" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-01-15.
- "World Economic Outlook, April 2009, p.184" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-01-15.
- Velinger, Jan (28 February 2006). "World Bank Marks Czech Republic's Graduation to 'Developed' Status". Radio Prague. Retrieved 22 January 2007.
- "World Economic Outlook, April 2011, p.172" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-01-15.
- "World Economic Outlook, April 2014, p.160" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-05-21.
- "World Economic Outlook, April 2015, p.48" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-04-11.
- "World Economic Outlook, January 2016, p.148" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-06-25.
|Library resources about