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Why Some Groups of People within a Country Have a Lower Level of Development Than Others

Updated on June 29, 2016
Development differences in Bangladesh, 2002.
Development differences in Bangladesh, 2002. | Source

Rural communities often have lower levels of development since they are far from the economic urban centres; they are more likely to have reduced access to technology, hospitals, and basic utilities such as running water and electricity. Thus they cannot benefit from globalisation, and exist on the periphery.

Coastal regions often have higher levels of development than inland regions, as they benefit from international trade, and are more likely to receive foreign direct investment (FDI). Multinational corporations (MNCs) are much more likely to build factories in coastal areas of LEDCs to reduce transportation costs of goods to be shipped overseas, hence people in coastal areas benefit from employment and the multiplier effect.

In the case of China, the rural west is peripheral to the more developed urban east; resources are taken from west to east, and the economic benefits of using or exporting said resources remain at the coastal east.

Poverty rates across South Africa.
Poverty rates across South Africa. | Source

Racial discrimination also plays a role, especially in India and South Africa, where the uneven distribution of natural resources has furthered inequality; India's caste system reduces employment and access to basic amenities for people in lower castes, but urbanisation has helped to counter this; lower castes move to a city where their caste is not known, and there are many more employment opportunities, meaning that their wages increase, and they have greater access to a wider range of goods to purchase, hence urban areas frequently have relatively low poverty rates.

The poverty cycle keeps many families trapped from economic opportunity. Brazil taxes the bottom 10% of earners a much higher percentage of their earnings than the top 10%.

Gender inequality contributes to higher poverty rates, especially in rural areas of less economically developed countries (LEDCs), where the majority of people may be uneducated, or strict followers of discriminatory religions with outdated practises.


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