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What Is Development?- For Class 10 Students in Economics

What Is Development?

Development is any improvement in the standard of living of people in a specific country. Social and economic indicators are used to measure a country’s level of development.

What Is Development for Class 10 in Economics?

Development is any improvement in the standard of living of people in a specific country. It includes factors related to money, such as wealth, which we call economic factors and factors related to people, such as literacy, which we call social factors.


A developed country is one that is considered to have a high standard of living, such as:

  • good housing
  • good education system
  • longer life expectancy


A developing country is one that is considered to have a lower standard of living, such as:

  • Lack of medical care
  • Limited access to education
  • More people working in agriculture


For example, the UK is considered a developed country and Ethiopia is considered a developing country.

What Is Development?- Measuring Development

Development is measured using development indicators.

Two sets of indicators are used to gather information about a country. Both social and economic indicators can be used to determine if a country is developed or developing, and to identify the main similarities and differences between them.

What Is Development?- Social indicators

A social indicator tends to focus on people. Social indicators measure the access a population has to factors such as:

  • Education
  • Nutrition
  • Health

Examples Of Social Indicators

  • Life expectancy – the average age to which a person lives, eg this is 79 in the UK and 48 in Kenya.
  • Infant mortality rate – counts the number of babies, per 1000 live births, who die under the age of one. This is 5 in the UK and 61 in Kenya.under the age of one. This is 5 in the UK and 61 in Kenya.
  • Calories per person – the number of calories consumed per person per day.
  • Literacy rate – is the percentage of adults who can read and write. This is 99 per cent in the UK, 85 per cent in Kenya and 60 per cent in India


What Is Development?- Economic Indicators

An economic indicator tends to focus on money and wealth. They are a measure of a country’s wealth and how it is generated. They give a very accessible measure of the amount of wealth in the economy of one country compared with another.


Examples Of Economic Indicators

  • Gross National Product (GNP) measures the total amount a country makes from selling all the goods and services it provides to other countries around the world
  • Gross National Income (GNI) per capita (Per capita means per person). The value of a country’s income, divided by the number of people in that country.
  • Percentage of population employed in agriculture measures what percent of the total population works in the farming sector. This is higher in developing countries as many people farm to grow their own food. In more developed countries this percentage would be lower as farms are run as businesses growing crops to make a profit.


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What Is Development?- Interpreting Development Data

Human Development Index (HDI)

In order to try to streamline the many different measures that were being used to measure development, in 1990 the United Nations decided that it was time to combine some measures into a more usable format.


The HDI was introduced to combine three measures – life expectancy (a social measure), education (average number of years of schooling and expected years of schooling– a social measure) and gross national income per capita (an economic measure).


Each of the different measures is then ranked in order. A country with a very high life expectancy will score +1 and a country with a low score will be close to 0. The two other measures are also scored and a final rank order is achieved.

What Is Development?- According to The UN Human Development Report

Country HDI value Life expectancy (years) Mean years of schooling (years) Expected years of schooling (years) GNI per capita ($PPP)
1. Norway 0.943 81.1 12.6 17.3 47,557
2. Australia 0.929 81.9 12.0 18.0 34,431
3. Netherlands 0.910 80.7 11.6 16.8 36,402
4. USA 0.910 78.5 12.4 16 43,017
5. New Zealand 0.908 80.7 12.5 18 23,737


Country HDI value Life expectancy (years) Mean years of schooling (years) Expected years of schooling (years) GNI per capita ($PPP)
183. Chad 0.328 49.6 1.5 7.2 1,105
184. Mozambique 0.322 50.2 1.2 9.2 898
185. Burundi 0.316 50.4 2.7 10.5 368
186. Niger 0.295 54.7 1.4 4.9 641
187. DR Congo 0.286 48.4 3.5 8.2 280

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What Is Development?- FAQs

Question 1 Why is Per Capita Income calculated in the US dollars?

Ans. The Per Capita Income is calculated in the US dollars because the US dollar is considered as the medium of international exchange. It is accepted as a method of payment across the world.


Question 2 Give any two common developmental goals of the people.

Ans. Social equality, freedom, peace, pollution-free environment, improved health and literacy levels, awareness and control on population are common development goals of the people.


Question 3 Describe any three possible development goals of landless rural laborers.

Ans. The following can be the developmental goals of landless rural laborers.

  • More days of work with better wages.
  •  Social and economic equality.
  •  Low price food grains.
  • Better education facilities for their children.


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