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Define Developing Countries and It's Characteristics

Updated on July 14, 2020

Developing Countries, also known as developing countries and less developed countries, refer to countries with low economic, technological and people's living standards, as opposed to developed countries. The evaluation criteria for developing countries are mainly the relatively low gross domestic product (GDP per capita) of the country, which usually refers to more than 130 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and other regions, accounting for more than 70 per cent of the world's land area and total population. Developing countries are vast, populous, with vast markets and abundant natural resources. There are many strategic positions, both economically, trade and military, occupy a pivotal strategic position.

Characteristics of developing countries:
Overall, developing countries have the following characteristics:

Duality of economic structure and social structure:

This refers to the "transitional" of developing countries. In the economic structure, on the one hand, the traditional agricultural economy still exists, on the other hand, the modern industrial economy has also developed, with the deepening of industrialization, the dual economic structure will change, but due to the difficult transition to modern society, most countries will continue for a long time. The duality of economic structure determines the duality of social structure, and the coexistence and interaction between traditional social factors and modern social factors is the necessary stage of the modernization process in developing countries.

Degree of marketization is low:

Most developing countries are still in the process of transition from simple commodity economies to socialized commodity economies, and markets are stunted. The long-term rule of colonialism has caused the economic structure of these countries to be deformed, and the modern market economy is difficult to develop normally. After independence, in order to implement the catch-up strategy, some countries over-strengthen the state's intervention in the economy, but excessive state intervention has limited the formation and perfection of market mechanism. Therefore, the development of market economy is a developing country in the process of social transformation is generally facing another major issue.


According to World Bank statistics in 1992, GNP per capita in high-income countries was above $7,620 in 1990, in low-income countries below $610 and in the poorest countries less than $400 per capita. One third of the population of developing countries, about 1 billion people (not included in China) live in poverty, and they have not yet solved the problem of food and clothing. By region, 1/2 of the poor are in South and South-East Asia, one third in sub-Saharan Africa and about 1/10 in Latin America and the Caribbean. Poverty in rural areas is particularly pronounced in these areas. The severity of the problem is also that most developing countries are growing at a slower rate than their populations, exacerbating the growth trend of the poor.

Development of countries is extremely uneven:

The polarization of the economies of developing countries is due to the different bases of countries and the implementation of different economic development strategies. Some developing countries have adopted economic development strategies in line with their national conditions and external environment, using their comparative advantages to promote the development of the national economy, thus emerging as industrialized countries, some with an average gross national product of more than US$ 10,000; At present, the gap between some poor least developed countries and regions continues to widen compared with the comprehensive national strength of the newly industrialized countries and regions.

Low standard of education:

Education and training determine the level on which the population functions and produces a country. If we keep in mind that there are approximately 80 million children in the poor south who attend no school, we can understand why poor countries face a future of unemployment. Without the necessary training, they cannot be prepared for the world of work in order to try to improve their own world.

Poor Healthcare:

The percentage of a country's budget spent on its health services mainly determines the standard of healthcare in the country. Check out the average percentage of 4% in developing countries at the 96% at developed countries in the graph on BL. 12 We can understand why the hospitals are in so many poor countries in such a poor condition. The amount of doctor and facilities is completely inadequate for the number of residents of the country.

Outflow of Best Brain:

The brightest students of developing countries go to developed Countries for higher education. After completing their education, they do not want to come back in their own country due to un-satisfaction with low salaries and material comforts. Therefore, they remain in search of better jobs in foreign countries.

Unemployment and Disguised Unemployment:

There is vast open unemployment and disguised unemployment in developing countries (6% unemployment rate in Pakistani. The unemployment is spreading with urbanization and the spread of education. But disguised or concealed unemployment is not voluntary but involuntary. People are. prepared to work but they are unable to find jobs throughout the year due to the lack of complementary factors. Such unemployment is found among rural landless and small farmers.

Rapid Population Growth:

A rapidly increasing population growth rate is a one common feature of the developing countries (1.92% in Pakistan); despite of diversity exists in size, density and age structure. An increasing population growth rate adds to low per capita income and low rate of capital formation and there is no marked improvement in the living standards of the masses. The death rate has fallen due to advance in medical sciences but birth rate does not yet show any significant decline.

Underdeveloped Natural Resources:

The natural resources of developing country are unutilized, miss-utilized or under-utilized. But generally, they are not deficient in land mineral water, forest and power resources.

Market Imperfections:

The market imperfections are found in developing countries. It is due to imperfections of markets, the productive efficiency in these countries is low and resources are miss-allocated.

Balance of Payments:

The balance of payments is always adverse in these countries due to greater value of imports than the value of exports. These countries exports consist of primary and raw material products whose market value is low while import items are finished goods having high market value.

Political Instability:

Most of the developing countries have to face the problem of political instability. Their governments change frequently. The Law and Order situation cannot be controlled due to internal political clashes.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Muhammad Umair


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