The most widely used indicator of development is GNP (gross national product).
it is calculated by adding together the total amount of goods and services divided by the total population. This gives you a figure per capita (per person).
There are advantages and disadvantages of using GNP as an indicator of development.
An advantage is that it can be calculated for all countries although sometimes the data is not reliable.
It is often a good indicator of a countries wealth. However, the output from farming is not included in the LEDC’s wealth.
It is also very easy to compare the wealth of one country with another but some countries GNP’s are misleading due to their over reliance on production of oil and the very small populations (e.g Kuwait). This means that some countries may appear to be MEDC's but other development idicators e.g. literacy rate say otherwise.
This video explains how software is used to search and compare development indicators mainly HDI (Human Development Index) and the GNP.
Development Indicators: UK v Ethiopia
- UK’s life expectancy = 79 years Ethiopia’s life expectancy = 42 years
- UK has 455 people per Dr. Ethiopia has 32,000 people per Dr.
- UK’s literacy rate = 99% Ethiopia’s literacy rate = 41%
- UK = 3100 calories per person per day Ethiopia’s food intake = 1800 calories per person per day
- UK has 0.5 people per room No data for Ethiopia
- UK 100% access to clean water Ethiopia’s 27% access to clean water
- UK’s GNP per capita = $21,410 Ethiopia’s GNP per capita = $100
- UK’s birth rate = 12 per 1000 Ethiopia’s birth rate = 40 per 1000
- UK’s death rate = 10 per 1000 Ethiopia’s death rate = 19 per 1000
- UK’s natural increase= 0.3% Ethiopia’s natural increase= 2.5%
- UK’s infant mortality rate = 5 per 1000 Ethiopia’s infant mortality rate = 110 per 1000