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Development and health

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What is development?

Kolkata street scene

A street in Kolkata, West Bengal

What is development and how is it measured?

Development is any improvement in the standard of living of the people living in a country. It is measured using development indicators.

It's important to give development indicators both their full title and unit of measurement. For example, infant mortality is about the number of babies who die before they are one year old. It's correctly given as: number of babies/1000 live births.

Economic indicators measure the wealth and industrialisation of a country. An example of a common economic indicator is GNP/capita ($).

Social indicators show how a country uses its wealth to try and improve the quality of life of its people. Social indicators can measure different things like health (doctors /100,000), diet (calories/person/day) and education (% adult literacy).

The problem with any development indicator is that it is an average figure for the whole country, and often hides huge differences in the standard of living within a country.

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Photograph looking over Cape Town

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