Both social and economic indicators can be used to determine if a country is developed or developing, and to identify the main similarities and differences between them.
These measure the economic output or wealth of a country. These include Gross National Product (GNP) which is the value of goods produced by a country divided by the total population to give an average income for each citizen.
However there are problems with looking at only one indicator such as GNP:
These measure social issues and indicate how good the quality of life is in a particular country. For example:
|Health||Number of people per doctor|
|Education||Percentage of adults who are literate|
|Diet||Number of calories consumed per person per day|
|Life expectancy||Average age people are expected to live to|
|Infant mortality||Number of children per 1,000 born who die before the age of one|
|Population change||Number of babies born per 1,000 women per year|
As with using only economic indicators similar problems occur when trying to evaluate the development of a country using only social indicators.
Social indicators are also averages across a country so they hide regional differences and do not compare health with education and diet. It is better to examine both social and economic indicators if you want to get a true picture of development in a country.