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International development

In Jigawa state, northern Nigeria, most people are subsistence farmers with little or no access to clean drinking water or...Read More >>In Jigawa state, northern Nigeria, most people are subsistence farmers with little or no access to clean drinking water or electricity; female literacy is about 20%. The region also suffers from high rates of infant mortality—common in developing countries. The Nigerian government hopes that by building a nursing school there will be many more nurses and midwives to help tackle the problem. Before 2009, there were just 70 midwives to serve Jigawa's population of about 5 million people.A developed country is one which has a high income per person and high standards of living. In developed countries, a large proportion of people are employed in manufacturing and service industries, such as banking and leisure. A developing country, by contrast, is one with a low income per person and poor health care, education and nutrition. In developing countries, most people are employed in farming or mining. International development is a term that means both the process by which developing countries can work towards becoming developed ones—and the measure of their progress.



Map of world poverty, showing the percentage of population living on less than $1.25 per day. The map is based on 2009 UN Human...Read More >>Map of world poverty, showing the percentage of population living on less than $1.25 per day. The map is based on 2009 UN Human Development Report. Mexico states, GDP per capita (2008). The map shows the wide variations in wealth within a country—in this case, Mexico. Mexico...Read More >>Mexico states, GDP per capita (2008). The map shows the wide variations in wealth within a country—in this case, Mexico. Mexico is in the lowest category of poverty on the world map above it on this page (less than 2% of its population live on $1.25 per day). But Mexico's wealth is unevenly distributed amongst its people: 10% of its wealthiest people have more than 42% of its income.

Indicators

There are many ways of measuring a country's development. Its economic wealth can be measured by its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This is defined as the value of all the goods and services produced there, including those produced by foreign-owned firms. Sometimes this is given as a "per capita" (per head of population) figure, but this is likely to be misleading because wealth is generally not shared out equally amongst a country's population.

The three wealthiest people in the world possess more financial assets than the lowest 48 nations combined. The 85 wealthiest people have a combined wealth equal to that of the bottom 50% of the world's population, or about 3.5 billion people.

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