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What is the difference between developed countries and developing countries?

  • For many years to come, clean water, safe food and fresh air will continue to occupy Chinese people's mind. And after that, when they finally have a taste of the good life, they will have no appetite for war. – George Chen Dec 15 '14 at 10:33
  • Good question. By GDP(PPP) per capita, IMF ranked China the 89th in 2013, behind Algeria(81), Brazil(79), Mexico(66) and Russia(46). For many years to come, China will remain to be a developing country. And, if left unchanged, some of China's inland provinces, the size of EU, will continue to grow at double digit rate. – George Chen Dec 16 '14 at 14:54
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You mean aside from 5 letters?

The main difference is the state of industrialization and the developedness of the economy.

A developed country, industrialized country, or "more economically developed country" (MEDC), is a sovereign state that has a highly developed economy and advanced technological infrastructure relative to other less industrialized nations. Most commonly, the criteria for evaluating the degree of economic development are gross domestic product (GDP), the per capita income, level of industrialization, amount of widespread infrastructure and general standard of living (Wiki)

Developed countries have post-industrial economies, meaning the service sector provides more wealth than the industrial sector. They are contrasted with developing countries, which are in the process of industrialization, or undeveloped countries, which are pre-industrial and almost entirely agrarian.

A developing country, also called a less-developed country, is a nation with a lower living standard, underdeveloped industrial base, and low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries

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    It looks like you quoted some source, but it seems like you forgot to credit that source. – Philipp Dec 12 '14 at 15:00
  • @Philipp - Wikipedia definitions, I assume (quoted off of Google Search page) – user4012 Dec 12 '14 at 20:37
  • Shouldn't “developedness” be “development"? – Relaxed Nov 27 '15 at 6:18
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In some countries, primary industries such as farming and mining employ many more people than manufacturing and service industries. These tend to be countries- Often called Developing Countries- where manufacturing industry has only recently been established. As most people still live in the rural areas with low incomes,there is little demand for services such as transport and insurance etc. The levels of both employment and output in the primary sector in these countries are likely to be higher than in the other two sectors.

In countries that started manufacturing industries many years ago, the secondary and tertiary sectors are likely to employ many more workers than the primary sector. The level of output in the primary sector is often small compared to the other two sectors. In economically developed countries, it is now common to find that many manufactured goods are bought in from other countries. Most of the workers will be employed in the service sector. The output of the tertiary sector is often higher than the other two sectors combined. Such countries are often called the most developed countries.

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The terms "developed" and "developing" are common in modernization theory, which was extremely popular in political science and economics for much of the last century. The basic idea of this theory is that nations follow a kind of track, growing from poor, agrarian societies into modern, high-tech democratic nations.

My examples below are taken from "Capitalist Development and Democracy", but Rueschemeyer, Stephens, and Stephens. There are many things expected to correlate with development:

Economic Focus

Developing countries are generally assumed to be agricultural, although some also focus in other commodities such as petrochemicals. Developed countries have significant manufacturing centers, but more importantly large service sectors.

Education

Developed countries are expected to have better educated populaces. In developing countries, education may not be necessary to support an agricultural economy. In a developed country, education is necessary to supply the various professionals the economy and state demand as well as meet the demands of citizens.

Democracy

Developed countries are expected to be democratic. As people's incomes rise and education becomes more common, people start to demand more freedoms and stronger institutions to protect their interests.

Social Problems

Developed nations are expected to be able to resolve social problems, such as racial or religious tensions. Developing nations may be marked by strong ethnic divides, civil wars driven by social conflict, or corruption (such as nepotism).

Technology

Developed countries are expected to have more technology - both in terms of their sophistication and the amount. For example, one common variable in modernization research used to be "number of telephones per 1,000 people" - an indicator of how common technology is.

Urbanization

Developed nations have large urban centers. Developing nations are generally more rural. As the country develops, people in rural areas will migrate toward urban areas where there are more manufacturing and service jobs available, as well as education and higher standards of living.

These things are all expected to go hand in hand: as the economy develops, people flock to urban areas for opportunities. These urbanites demand greater education, opportunity, and political equality. They will pressure the government to democratize in order to meet their demands. The book I cited provides examples from advanced industrial nations, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Central America - although there are plenty of case studies involving other nations as well.

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A developed country, industrialized country, or "more economically developed country" (MEDC), is a sovereign state that has a highly developed economy and advanced technological infrastructure relative to other less industrialized nations. Most commonly, the criteria for evaluating the degree of economic development are gross domestic product (GDP), the per capita income, level of industrialization, amount of widespread infrastructure and general standard of living (Wiki)

Developed countries have post-industrial economies, meaning the service sector provides more wealth than the industrial sector. They are contrasted with developing countries, which are in the process of industrialization, or undeveloped countries, which are pre-industrial and almost entirely agrarian.

A developing country, also called a less-developed country, is a nation with a lower living standard, underdeveloped industrial base, and low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries

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    "Developed countries have post-industrial economies, meaning the service sector provides more wealth than the industrial sector" - that is NOT the case always, either geography-wise (I'm guessing Germany may be contrary to trhat?) or time-wise (USA only started being dominated by service economy recently, WAY after having been a developed country) – user4012 May 4 '15 at 19:08
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A developed nation are countries that have advanced technology, trade, and business. In developed nations, people live in towns or cities and either work in offices or factories. Most people have enough storage for food, water, and shelter.

Developing nations are just the opposite. These nations are not quite wealthy. Many farmers are subsistence farmers - people who raise food and animals to mainly feed their families. The economy, technology, trade and business have dropped by a lot.

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Several countries have "advanced technological infrastructure" but aren't developed. That's because development isn't just about economy. Health, education, security, standard of living, cohesion and sustainability are development factors.

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