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There are only 32 developed countries in the world, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The vast majority of people, 6.6 billion or 83% of the world’s population, live in a developing country.
Developing countries are defined as being poorer nations, often with economies based on agriculture, that seek to become more advanced economically and socially. But if most of the world is developing and so few countries are developed, why should countries strive for prosperity? What is to be gained by becoming developed, and why is it important for a nation?
It Lifts People Out of Poverty
The first reason why development is important for a country is that it lifts people out of poverty.
689 million people around the world live in extreme poverty, defined as living on less than 1.90 USD a day. As countries develop, their economies grow and living standards rise. This reduces the rate of poverty and allows more people to provide for themselves and their families and to live in dignity.
A life in poverty is hard. People living in poverty often lack education, access to quality healthcare, are discriminated against and lack access to decent housing. Millions of people around the world are in what’s known as the ‘poverty trap’ – unable to escape their circumstances. Development is vital for a country to break the cycle of poverty for its people and to lift large parts of the population out of destitution.
Global development is key to reducing poverty around the world. It is crucial for many countries that they develop or else large parts of their populations will continue to live in dire conditions.
Development Improves Public Health
A second reason why development is important for a country is because it improves public health.
As a country develops, its healthcare system gets better. This is because there is more government revenue to invest in healthcare. Increasing access to quality healthcare is crucial not only for the population’s quality of life but also for the continued economic development of the country.
Health and poverty are closely linked. People suffering ill health are often removed from the workforce. Those who must care for sick relatives also often cannot work. Developing a country so that it’s healthcare can improve has a definite impact on poverty reduction.
Another way that a country developing is beneficial in relation to healthcare is that as a population becomes more wealth, they are better able to live healthier lives. This, combined with the increased government spending on healthcare, makes significant improvements to a countries ability to meet the needs of its population.
It has been shown that development and improved public health are closely linked, and this is why development is vital for many countries.
Development Means Better Economic Opportunities
A third reason why development is crucial for countries is because it improves the economic opportunities of people.
The more a country develops the more jobs are created. This gives more people access to quality, stable work and to be able to provide for themselves and their families. Better economic opportunities have been shown to reduce violence and crime, as well as reduce the likelihood of conflict. Better jobs are also related to improved quality of life for people.
As well as creating better jobs, development is important for a country because it improves business and trade. As countries develop more international companies move in and trade with other countries grows. This further improves the countries economy and also further increases the range of good jobs on offer.
Everybody wants to be able to meet their full potential. The increase in economic opportunities that development brings to a country shows how vital it can be.
It Increases Access To Quality Education
Another reason why development is important for countries is because it improves the education system.
Countries that are more developed have better education systems. This is because education costs money and development increases the governments revenue. This means they have more resources to spend on education. The link between improved development and better education is a major reason why it’s vital for almost all countries.
Every child has the right to access quality education. Poorer countries often fail to meet the education needs of their young people. Increased development would improve the education systems of many poorer nations. A more educated population also improves the economic position of a country as people are able to move into more highly skilled jobs and create more innovative businesses.
As many countries develop their education systems will improve. This will in-turn fuel further prosperity. This is why development is so important.
International Development Online Courses
If you want to know about why development is important for a country, we recommend taking an online short course. We think the Management of International Development: Towards Agenda 2030 course is great. It looks at the current international development model as well as the trends that will be key to global development in the near future. Follow the link to the course’s page for more information.
We also think the online course Sustainable Development in the 21st Century by Yonsei University to be one of the best for those interested in international development. Delivered by former UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon, the online course would be a great addition to the CV of anyone looking to work in international development. The link is to the course’s page.
If you are interested in the practical methods used on international development projects, we recommend the online course How To Design & Fund International Development NGO Projects. The course teaches students the tools needed to establish and run impactful development projects. Click the link to visit the course’s page for more information.
It Reduces Child Mortality
Child mortality is one of the key indicators of a country’s prosperity. Development is vital as it reduces the number of children who die.
Child mortality – defined as the number of children who die before the age of five, always falls as a country develops. This is because development allows for improved healthcare, better access to specific maternity care, better nutrition and improved hygiene and sanitation. All of these aspects are vital in a child’s early year and improving them increases the chance of a child’s survival.
Reducing child mortality is not only morally right, but it also improves a countries economy. As child mortality drops women have less children. This allows them to participate more fully in the workforce. Less children also gives families increased disposable income and means they rely less on healthcare services – reducing the number of people dependent on the healthcare system overall.
Development is critical for countries because it allows them to reduce their child mortality rate. This is a major reason why it is important for a nation.
Development Decreases Conflict
Another reason why development is important for a nation is because it reduces conflict and armed violence.
As a country develops crime, conflict and violence decreases. As people have a better standard of living and more economic opportunities, they are less likely to resort to violence and criminal activity. Many studies show that increased prosperity and a reduction in violence are closely correlated and this is why development is so important.
Citizens in more developed countries have a higher stake in the status-que and are less likely to revolt against the current system. Less developed countries see more violent protests, insurrections, coup attempts and armed groups. Factors like these can further fuel economic disruption and reduce a countries development.
It is important that nations develop because as they do they become more stable. This in-turn increases investment, business confidence, trade and the overall prosperity of a country.
Development Increases A Countries Global Standing
A further reason why development is important for countries is because it increases their global influence.
Richer countries have more power in the world. They have greater influence on world affairs, have a larger presence in international diplomacy and build alliances with other countries easier. More developed countries are also interfered with less and better able to stand-up for their own interests.
Development is crucial for a nation because it increases it’s standing in the world. It means they are better able to build relationships with other influential countries. More developed countries are able to engage more with international organizations, such as the United Nations, African Union and ASEAN. They are also less dependent on outside assistance, such as international aid or financial bailouts.
Countries compete fiercely in the international arena. Development is important because it increases a countries international prestige.
It Means Improved Infrastructure
Increasing development is vital for many nations because it allows them to improve their infrastructure.
Better infrastructure helps a country immensely. Improving roads, railways, airports, communications and utilities makes a country more efficient. It allows people to move and send information more easily, as well as transport goods and provide services more widely. Better infrastructure improves a countries economy, which in-turn allows countries to spend more on better infrastructure. This economic feedback-loop is a major reason why development is so important for a nation.
Infrastructure is also key for a country’s connection to the wider world. It increases international trade and also makes a country more appealing to external investors. As a country develops it should focus on building quality and lasting infrastructure. Developed countries have shown the importance of having good infrastructure and how it is key to achieving prosperity.
Developed Countries Are More Resilient
Countries that are developed a more resilient. This is a major reason why development is important for any nation.
All countries face challenges. Many experience disasters, crises and humanitarian emergencies. Others experience political turmoil or economic crises. Developed countries are more able to respond to challenges. They also recover more quickly from crises and suffer less long-term impacts. The ability developed nations to overcome challenges and limit their long-term impacts shows how important development is.
Poorer and less developed countries are less resilient. They often rely on external assistance to overcome crises. This can be in the form of humanitarian aid or financial assistance. It can also be in political or military support. Less developed countries reliance on external assistance makes them more vulnerable. It also reduces their ability to meet challenges on their own in the long-term and develop mechanisms to face future crises.
The more developed a country is almost corelates with its level of resilience. This clearly demonstrates how vital development is to a country.
It Reduces Inequality
Developed nations are less unequal. This is another reason why development is important for a country.
All of the most unequal countries in the world are in the developing world. In comparison, all of the least unequal countries are among the most developed. As countries become more prosperous, inequality reduces. This is a major benefit of development and shows how vital it is for all countries.
Inequality is a major issue for a nation. It breads resentment and instability, is a root cause of crime and armed violence and reduces the economic growth of a country. High inequality is also a moral failing for a country and shows its inability to meet the needs of all its citizens.
Development is hugely important for many poorer countries because it will reduce inequality and make them fairer places for all the population.
Developed Countries Are Better Defended
Development is key to a countries defence. This is a key reason why it is important for many countries.
All countries face threats. There are other nations that wish to destabilise them, subjugate them or take parts of their territory. Throughout history every state has faced the threat of attack at some-point. Development is vital because it gives a nation the resources it needs to defend itself.
Developed countries are able to have larger and better equipped armies. They are also able to form alliances with other rich nations and are integrated better into the global economic system. All these factors make them harder to attack and deters other countries from interfering in their affairs.
Many of the countries with the largest armies in the world are among the most developed. Countries with the most advanced military technology also rank among the world’s most prosperous. Both of these factors show how important development is for a countries defence.
It Creates A Better Quality of Life
A final reason why development is important for a country is because it creates a better quality of life for people.
People in developed countries are more likely to live longer and happier lives. They are also generally more economically productive, hold better jobs, live in better quality housing and have access to better education and healthcare. All these factors contribute to a better standard of living for people in developed countries. This is one of the best reasons why development is important for a country.
As countries become more developed, they are better able to meet the needs of their citizens. They are less likely to be affected by crime, armed violence or pollical instability. They can weather economic downturns better and create more dynamic economies. Developed countries are also more likely to be democracies – allowing their citizens to participate in the political process and ensure inclusive political systems.
All countries strive for development – many do it to offer a better quality of life for their people. This is why development is vital for every country in the world.