Factors influencing a country's development (copy)

Created by Lincoln Monroe

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Factors influencing developmentA developing country is a poor agricultural country that is seeking to become more advanced.

There are physical and human factors influencing a country’s development.
In this lesson we will take a look at the reasons why a country may be in poverty and ways a country can improve its development.


Physical Factors


ClimateThe Sahel region in Africa suffers from a lack of rainfall and droughts are common. The result is that crops may suffer and farmers are unable to make any money.
Countries can protect their crops from droughts by building irrigation systems or developing drought resistant crops, but these technologies cost money.

There are certain diseases which thrive in tropical climates, such as malaria and yellow fever, because of the hot and humid conditions.
A country needs an advanced healthcare system to treat patients or prevent people from getting these diseases.


Natural DisastersFloods, hurricanes, droughts, tectonic activity, and other natural disasters can destroy buildings and agricultural areas. This means a country may have to spend money to help rebuild from these events instead of spending money to advance its economy.


Location of countries (Landlocked)All the great empires have been based around trade routes.
Many of the world’s poorest countries are severely hindered because they are landlocked; situated in high mountain ranges; or lack navigable rivers, long coastlines, or good natural harbors.

16 countries in Africa are landlocked. This means it is more difficult for them to trade as goods have to be driven by trucks through other countries to get to the coast for shipping. It cost more money to move goods over land then on water. It is also more difficult for new technology to reach a landlocked country. What if your neighbors don’t like you?

Improving a countries infrastructure (building canals, better roads, and bridges) can help speed up and lower the cost of transportation.


Natural resourcesNatural resources such as minerals, gas, and oil can help improve a country's level of development. However this is closely tied in with the ability to exploit (collect or gather) the resource for the benefit of the country. No natural resource is a license to print money, and there are plenty of poor countries who are rich in resources.

There are also countries, such as Japan, which are low in natural resources, but have based their development on human factors such as higher education and advanced skills.


Human factors


Historical developmentA colony is a country under the control of another country.

Colonialism hindered a developing country's level of development. Colonies in Africa helped supply food and minerals to countries like Britain and France. There was investment in colonies, but this was focused on things that would help the trade of the country that owned the colony.

The borders of some colonial countries were set without attention to tribal and cultural differences. After WWII in 1945, many European countries gave up control of their colonies. The lack of government caused wars and conflicts as different groups tried to gain power.


Political factorsA Poor run government does not help a country to develop. Money that could be spent on development may be used to fund military weapons or an affluent lifestyle of an elite group of people.


Economic factorsWorld trade is often not fair.

[Lesser Economically Developed Countries] (LEDCs) tend to sell primary agricultural goods. LEDCs have to compete with each other to win the right trade or sell their goods to other countries - which lowers the prices farmers get. Add to that poor harvest caused by natural disasters means less income.

There is more money to be made in processing and manufacturing goods or providing services, which [Major Economically Developed Countries] (MEDCs) tend to do, but LEDCs do not have the infrastructure to develop.


Economic factors continued...Foreign investment can help a country to develop its infrastructure. Africa receives less than 5 per cent foreign direct investment. It has 15 per cent of the world's population. Europe receives 45 per cent of foreign direct investment, and only has 7 per cent of the world's population.

Who controls world trade is also important, and it is developed countries that control the most trade. Often times developed countries pass laws to help themselves and not LEDCs, like imposing tariffs to protect their trade.


Social factorsA poorer country finds it more difficult to invest in education.
The problem is made worse because of high dependency ratios. When women are educated and given a choice, some will stay at home and look after children, but others will pursue careers or start small businesses. If women see staying at home and bringing up children as their chief role, they will have more children than those who work. There is nothing wrong with having lots of children, as long as you can provide for them. With fewer children, a poor household can invest more in the health and education of each child.
Having money to invest in a healthcare system is important for a country to develop. It is difficult for sick people to work hard or get a good education.


Clean water is essential for health. One in six people do not have access to safe water. If water is not safe, people may be unable to work or care for their families because of illness.


To summarise
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