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Evaluate the usefulness of a range of criteria available for measuring levels of development at a global level.

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Introduction

Evaluate the Usefulness of a Range of Criteria Available for Measuring Levels of Development at a Global Level. Introduction Development is 'the use of resources and the application of available technology in order to bring about an increased standard of living within a country'. *1 There are variations in the economic development of different countries; this has lead to the formation of the 'Development Gap'. In 1980, the Brandt Report divided the world into rich (North) and poor (South) sectors and found that in developing countries more than 800 million are impoverished and 17 million die needlessly before they are five years old. 25 per cent of the world's population live in the north but consume 80 per cent of all the goods made. Over the years there has been a wide range of criteria used for measuring development. These measures have included GNP which is used when looking at the wealth of a country and GNP per capita which looks at the wealth of a country when divided by the number of people. There are specific measures, for example number of people per doctor, adult literacy, food intake and birth & death rates. These are useful measures when looking at specific areas of development but are too specific when dealing with development as a whole. HDI is also used to bridge the gap between GNP and the other specific measures. ...read more.

Middle

This is likely to have been similar in 1991 when the country was affected by drought again. The Gambia The Gambia is a LEDC in West Africa. The Gambia has a GNP of US$ 354 million, this is extremely low when compared to US$ 1094734 million but when split between the 1.2 million inhabitants equaling a GNP per capital of US$ 320 million, where as Britain's GNP per capita when split between its 268 million inhabitants is US$ 18700 million, so Gambia's GNP per Capita is relatively very low as well. The Gambia's GNP is split, 1.8% spent on health (Britain sends 2.5 times this amount on health care), 2.7% spent on education (half of what Britain spends) and 3.8% spent on the military (which is 0.7% more than Britain, but of a smaller figure so Britain is spending more money on its military, just a lesser percentage). Gambians take in approximately 2360 calories per day and have 1400 people per doctor. This compares to 3732 calories per day and 421 people per doctor in Britain. In the 1980's there was a sudden drop in the production of agricultural exports due to several severe drought. This led to an increase in unemployment, migration to the capital and an increase in foreign dept to import food. In 1993 agriculture and tourism was hit by the consequences of the European economic crisis. ...read more.

Conclusion

This GNP is then split down into 14.3% on health services, 5.5% on education and 3.8% on its military forces. The US has a HDI rating of 0.942 and the American people consume 3732 calories per day, which is the most after Ireland and Cyprus. American's have 421 people per doctor, which is double the number of people per doctor in Austria. A high GNP could be as a result of American Transnational companies which spread around the world in the post Second World War period. In 1991, 15% of the US population lived below the poverty line. Those most affected were those citizens from African and Latin American origins. In January 1994, the US joined with Mexico and Canada to form The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which reduced trade with Europe as Americans found it cheaper to buy and sell to Canada and Mexico. Tourism is the biggest industry in the US but after the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001, visitor numbers fell dramatically, having a significant effect on the American economy as people were scared to travel in case of reprisals. More recently, visitor numbers have fallen as a result of the conflict in Iraq as people feared more terrorist attacks to revenge the invasion of Iraq. Nicholas Dobson 1 Evaluate the Usefulness of a Range of Criteria Available for Measuring Levels of Development at a Global Level. ...read more.

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