Measuring Development:

We have learned what Development is, the next question is how do we measure it?

In order to understand which countries are the most developed, we must have ways to measure it. This is not a simple thing to do as development is a complex issue.

Unequal Scenes .PNG produces great photos of the differences in development within countries. This photo shows inequality in South Africa, on the right is the Kya Sands Slum, on the left the luxury homes of the suburb of Bloubosrand. Johannesburg, South Africa.

Unit Aims

In this unit you will;

  • Understand that “Development” is related to Economic, Social, Political and Environmental Factors
  • Be able to define and use a range of Development Indicators to assess a country’s level of development.
  • Understand the links between different development indicators.
  • Understand the limitations of using single development indicators to assess relative development
  • Know what the Human Development Index is and how it is calculated.
  • Be able to discuss why HDI gives a better indication of relative development.
  • Know what the Happy Planet index is and how it differs from the HDI.
  • ┬áBe able to assess the relative development of countries using a range of development indicators.

1) Look back at the, “What is Development?” worksheet we did from this page.

It asked us to consider Development from the point of view of the country’s Economy, Politics, Society and Environment. Can you think of a way to measure each of these?

If you have not completed it then do so now. The file is below.


2) Look at the mind map below. Insert it into a word document under the heading, “Development Indicators.”

3) Beneath the diagram create a table with four columns (Economy, Politics, Society and Environment). Write the Indicators below into the relevant column of your table.

Development Indicators:

Development Indicators.jpg

4) Complete the worksheet below using the information on this page.


You will need to collect data from the CIA Factbook. Click on the banner below to go to the page.

Factbook banner.PNG

5) Development Top Trumps.

This activity is from the same page you have been working from.

We will be creating a game of Development Top Trumps using data from the CIA Factbook

i) Download a copy of this document to your folder.


ii) You will be told which countries you should find the information for. Use the CIA factbook to complete the relevant card.

iii) You will now complete cards for 4 more countries. Make sure no one else is doing the same country.

Mapping Development: What do the maps below tell us?

A quick reminder of the vocab. Learn it!

GDP(Gross Domestic Product) is the total value of all goods and services produced in a country.

Per Capita means per person.

GDP per Capita is the total amount of money made by a country, divided by the countries population

GDP per Capita 2016.PNG

1) Name 2 countries on each continent with GDP per Capita over $40,000. Name the continents that you cannot find countries for.

2) Name 2 countries on each continent with GDP per Capita under $20,000. Name the continents that you cannot find countries for.

3) Describe the global distribution of the countries with a GDP/Capita of less than $5,000/year.

Map of Life Expectancy by Country 2012 (source WIKIPEDIA)



  • What is meant by ‘life expectancy?’

  • Name 3 countries on each continent where you can expect to live past 75.
  • Describe the global distribution of countries with life expectancy below 55 years.

Map of Birth Rates by country (2013) Data:World Bank


  • Write a definition of Crude Birth Rate.

  • Name 3 countries with a birth rate less than 10.20

  • Describe the distribution of countries with birth rates above 23.79 births /1000

What’s the link?

  • Describe the link between GDP/Capita and Life expectancy

  • Describe the link between Life Expectancy and Birth Rate


  • Find photos to show what life is like in each of the countries you have named in the map tasks above.
  • Explain how the Sustainable Development Goals can help development in the least developed countries?

Where did the “Development Gap,” come from?

Work through the following worksheets and get a better idea about why some countries have developed and others have been left behind.

Read 1 and 2 and then answer the questions on 2.
The development gap 1.pdfThe development gap 2.pdf

Read 3 and 4 and then answer the questions on 4.
The development gap 3.pdfThe development gap 4.pdf

Assessment: Country Comparison Project

You are going to produce a project on a country from the list below. You will be assigned a country.
Your project will

  • investigate the country’s landscape, climate, population, economy and culture using a range different sources.
  • Use data to illustrate what life is like in your country and how life has changed in your country in the last 100 years.
  • Use the information you have collected to discuss your countries level of development and compare it to the countries researched by your classmates.

To find more go to the project page.