The Extent to Which the Development Gap Occurs within Countries as Well as Globally
The development gap is extremely prevalent in all countries, but in particular, those that have recently had economic booms, such as China and India, where the positive effects may still not have reached rural communities.
The gap is perhaps most evident in Brazil, where the rich are taxed at a much lower rate than the poor; favelas, e.g. Rocinha, in Rio de Janeiro, grow from undesirable areas, such as steep hills, on the outskirts of economic hubs. IT is common to see traders taking cheap goods along the road with a donkey, whilst sports cars drive past.
A similar situation is present in India; Dharavi, a slum containing over 1 million people, is situated on the edge of Mumbai – one of the key cities in India's rapid economic development, which will one day rival the USA and China for superpower status.
India's caste system has, and continues to, hold a significant proportion of its population in the poverty cycle, and South Africa's development gap is caused by racism initiated by historical colonialism. The resources are distributed unevenly in South Africa, with coastal areas receiving more economic benefits than the northwest. South Africa has one of the highest Gini coefficients, illustrating a similar wealth distribution inequality to Brazil.
The development gap also exists in developed countries, but not to the same extent. For example, many people in the United Kingdom live on minimum wage, but the very existence of a minimum wage adequate for survival, and the existence of a welfare system, shows that the poorest people are helped out of poverty.
Some areas of the USA have low wages and high unemployment, e.g. Detroit, and some states' education systems have been ranked as equivalent to those in developing countries.
California illustrates the development gap in a more economically developed country (MEDC); California alone has a gross domestic product (GDP) which would place it amongst the top 10 countries, yet some areas of Los Angeles have relatively high poverty levels. The minimum wage is not suitable for the cost of living, and people who work in catering and cleaning for Silicon Valley companies often have to resort to sleeping in vehicles, whilst the CEOs of said companies are among the richest people in the world.
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