The Living World
21 Topics | 21 Quizzes

Factors Influencing Global Development

The world has uneven or unbalanced development. Some countries are more developed than others, and there are several reasons for this, which can be separated into seven factors:

A diagram illustrating the factors that influence development.At the centre is a rounded rectangle with the text 'Factors that influence development.' Surrounding this central box are six icons, each representing a different factor: 'Natural Resources' with an icon of a plant and oil, 'Historical Factors' with a clock, 'Social Factors' with a network of people, 'Economic Factors' with a bank and money, 'Environmental Factors' with a hand holding a seedling under the sun, and 'Political Factors' with two hands in a handshake.
NaturalSome countries have an abundance of raw materials, such as oil or precious minerals (e.g., Saudi Arabia, USA).

If the materials are sold for a good price and that money is used to develop the country, it will be hugely beneficial. However, if the materials are controlled by groups that don’t work for the good of the country (e.g. terrorist groups, corrupt politicians and other countries), chances for development will be squandered.
PoliticalNational and international wars can impact how a country uses its resources, prioritising defence over education, healthcare, or other social needs.

Corruption at every level causes misuse of funds or directs funds towards projects that do not aid development.
HistoricalMany countries that are now LICs were colonised in the past by countries like the UK, Spain and France. Colonisers exploited countries for their resources and people, disrupting natural development.

Many countries that were colonised have struggled over the past 70 years with wars and power struggles as they have dealt with their independence. Historical conflicts drain resources and money from the country to fight the war, as well as skew demographics temporarily, as more men fight in wars than women.
EnvironmentalEnvironmental problems impact some countries more than others. Serious environmental issues such as pollution, desertification and flooding impact a country’s development as finances are diverted to cope with these problems.
EconomicPoverty, or a lack of money, slows development as there’s less money to spend on improvements to crucial things such as infrastructure, education and healthcare.

Countries that produce manufactured or processed goods make more money as those secondary goods are more valuable. This means that already large economies such as the USA and Central Europe will become wealthier than those that produce primary goods.

Better technology helps to improve agriculture and manufacturing, making them more efficient and increasing income.
PhysicalThe physical aspects of a country’s landscape and its climate can have serious impacts. For example:

• Extreme environments that are very cold or hot make crop growth difficult.

• Landlocked countries are poorly situated for trade routes, as they are unable to access ports easily.

• A country may be unlucky and have poor access to natural resources such as water, forests, fossil fuels and minerals, which removes avenues of income.

• Vulnerability to extreme weather events means that resources are spent on managing those, and rich companies may move away to save themselves from the cost of managing that as well.
SocialThe better education that a country has, the more developed it will become. Good healthcare is necessary to keep a country’s population healthy and able to work.

Inequality disenfranchises people and breeds contempt, which is bad for the overall productivity of the country. Whether a country has a large young working population is also important.

The government also impacts development a great deal. For growth, the government must be stable, with policies aimed at development and anti-corruption.

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