Development in countries can be measured in several different ways. Some are economic measures, and others are social measures.
Development is measured using the Human Development Index (HDI). HDI is calculated by the United Nations. Unlike other more simplistic measures, it is a compound index, meaning that it is made up of various key components of a country (education, health and wealth) to determine their level of development.
Some believe that HDI is the best measure of development as it takes into account both economic and social factors. However there are many other measures of development that can be used. Some of them are:
|Measure of development||Description|
|Access to safe water||The percentage of people who have access to safe, clean water.|
|Birth rate||The number of live births per 1,000 people. Birth rates are often high in a less developed country.|
|Death rate||The number of deaths per 1,000 people. High death rates can indicate a less developed country.|
|GNI per capita||Gross national income per person. The value of a country's income, divided by the number of people in that country.|
|Infant mortality rate||The number of babies who do not survive to the age of 1 per 1,000 live births.|
|Life expectancy||The average age that a person may live to.|
|Literacy rate||The percentage of adults who can read and write.|
|People per doctor||A ratio to show the number of people per doctor. A lower ratio can indicate a richer country.|
The Demographic Transition Model (DTM) shows population changes over time. There are five stages in the DTM and these stages can be linked to levels of development.