Economic development

Economic development ideally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of communities and policymakers that improve the standard of living and economic health of a specific locality. The definition of economic development given by Professor Michael Todaro is an increase in living conditions, improvement of the citizens self-esteem needs and free and a just society. He suggests that the most accurate method of measuring economic development is the Human Development Index which takes into account the literacy rates & life expectancy which in-turn has an outright impact on productivity and could lead to Economic Growth. However, economic development can also be measured by taking into account the GDI (gender related index).

Economic development can also be referred to as the quantitative and qualitative changes in an existing economy. Economic development involves development of human capital, increasing the literacy ratio, improve important infrastructure, improvement of health and safety and others areas that aims at increasing the general welfare of the citizens. The terms economic development and economic growth are used interchangeably but there is a very big difference between the two. Economic growth can be viewed as a sub category of economic development. Economic development is a government policy to increase the economic, social welfare and ensuring a stable political environment. Economic growth on the other hand is the general increase in the country products and services output.

Economic development will only be successful if the whole nation is willing to give their best efforts towards its achievement. A lot of theories have been forwarded by different schools of thought about how economic development should be achieved. Many economists have suggested that each country should try to achieve modernization and industrialization in order to achieve economic development.

There seems to be a lot of correlation between economic growth and human development. This can be explained by a simple example in an economy. We shall consider economic growth as a prerequisite for economic development. Assume we have a household in an economy that ekes their livelihood from a horticultural firm. Economic growth will bring business opportunities to the country and the effects spills over to all sectors of the economy. The firm will increase its profits which will in turn be used to pay for their generation education, improve the access to health care for that family and will increase the general living standard of the family. If this effect is replicated in each household overall economic development will be achieved.

Economic development leads to improvements in many sectors of a nation. There are a variety of indicators that economist use to measure the level of economic development in a country. The indicators are: declining poverty rates, increasing literacy rates, declining infant morbidity and increasing life expectancy. Economic development has to be supported by the whole nation from economists, politicians, and also civilians. Thus it can be concluded that, economic development leads to the creation of more opportunities in the sectors of education, health sector, research, human development and environmental  conservation It equally implies an increase in the per capita income of every citizen.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

aliyu yakubu September 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Definately any country that achieve economic development without improving the standard of living of it own citizen, their effort is zero behind a decimal point .


Herodotus w Gray March 8, 2013 at 4:23 am

My Government is unable to address these economic problems. Liberia is undeveloped. Poverty is killing the dream and asperation of the young people.


odionye eze June 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm

A country can therefore not achieve economic development without attaining economic growth first.
This therefore means that those minor industries and firms which we find in our countries today are relevant.


miriam July 2, 2013 at 1:19 am

this is just the best and very practical explanation of economic ev and economic growth. please keep it


miriam July 2, 2013 at 1:20 am

this is just the best and very practical explanation of economic develoment and economic growth. please keep it


Sumday March 28, 2014 at 6:30 am

Economic growth is an effective generous of most countries in the world


prince May 8, 2014 at 7:14 am

thank u


Meshack A May 20, 2014 at 1:33 am

Apart from any Government effort, also individual need to create his/her own job from the basis of his/her respective area.


Julius Elweu June 15, 2014 at 2:52 am

Very clear


Friday N. Smith July 9, 2014 at 3:42 am

Economics Growth have become a major challenge in Liberia, as a result vast majority of the population are living in abject poverty.


mohamed dauud October 28, 2014 at 6:04 am

i am student who learn economics and i came from somalia we don.t know our aggregate our nation economics i mean we have no a geverment that have a bower to know our price index and humand index how can i know and to learn economics


Aghaton mhagama November 13, 2014 at 5:29 am

That is helpful


buhari aishat opeyemi December 7, 2014 at 1:21 am

We av nw realise that economic development lead to economic growth thanks a lots……..


Fidelis(YaNkEeBoY February 5, 2015 at 2:17 pm

i think what hindering Nigerian economic development
is political instability.


becky February 16, 2015 at 11:50 am

ya of course a country’s development first has do dealt with issue of poverty, illiteracy etc


thabane Tman malatje March 14, 2015 at 12:19 am

Sub Saharan Africa mainly consists of countries that are unable to catch up in the long run because of economic and political instability, corruption also hinders growth and development,limit social services and and only improve the life of one person or that group in corruption., which go against a definition of economic development. If one group of people in a single country had improve life’s and can sustain themselves financially and socially,this doesn’t mean that country is developed…(all people must civilized)
From a dedicated south african


rinslah timothy April 2, 2015 at 7:07 am

It’s a pleasure to know more on this study of economic development within a country,thank you..


Allwell Ogbanga April 9, 2015 at 2:13 am



Edwin April 30, 2015 at 3:24 am

Only Modernization and Industrialization will not help the economical condition to be developed. This makes no sense to me, each country should identify the farmers and cut down the states into different zonal. i understand about modernization but we need food to eat and when a country concentrates on the more export and import concepts, it has other countries money rolling down in the country. Give benefits to farmers, free land and monthly salary for cultivation, buy all the items and start exporting, every government need to think in a broader way. I have done many synopsis in economical condition dilution.


Ohis May 4, 2015 at 1:14 am

Wow, dis is great n marvelous. I v learnt alot frm hera. Fnks


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