What is the Difference Between Developed and Developing Countries?

When it comes to prosperity and financial stability, countries can be divided into two categories known as developed and developing countries.

Developed vs Developing Countries

The difference between developed and developing countries is that developed countries are self-sufficient and developed countries in terms of industries and economies. Developing countries are not self-sufficient. The unemployment and poverty rate is low in developed countries, but the rate is high in developing countries. Industrial growth is high in developed countries while developing countries depend on developed countries.

Comparative table between developed and developing countries


Developed countries

Developing countries



Service-based; agrarian


Low infant mortality rate; high literacy rate; a higher rate of skilled workers

A high rate of illiteracy; a high infant mortality rate

Life conditions

good and safe

Moderate but dangerous at times




What is a developing country?

The best way to define a developing country would be a nation that has a much lower industrial base than a developed country. This means that the country in question usually has a much lower GDP than established countries.

Of course, when it comes to the term “developing,” it’s important to note that scholars disagree about which countries fit into this category. However, it is generally defined as a “currently observed situation”, and developing countries often have several characteristics:

Low levels of access to basic hygiene, sanitation and drinking water.

We in developing countries take these things for granted, but many third-world countries don’t have this. Lack of clean water is part of why developing countries often have so many problems with disease and infection.

Low levels of education.

For a society to progress, people must be educated. This is often missing in a developing country.

Education can help them solve problems properly, access new farming and farming methods, and many other advancement strategies.

High incidence of infectious diseases.

Many common childhood infectious diseases still have a strong place in developing countries. Not only that, but they can often be deadly. Conditions like measles, chickenpox and malaria can wipe out a generation in some cases.

What is a developed country?

Similarly, several characteristics would define a developed country.

There is an old saying: “…as long as the trains keep coming on time”. This means infrastructure! And this is one of the hallmarks of a developed country. They have an organized infrastructure along their roads, transportation, and other areas. Of course, that’s just the beginning.

Here are some additional areas that define a fully developed country:

Developed countries have a higher Human Development Index (HDI)

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a measure adopted by the United Nations that is a way of fully measuring a prosperous economy and what a country is doing with its economy.

Developed countries tend to have a higher net wealth per capita.

One of the things that would go hand in hand with the Human Development Index (HDI) would be the relative net wealth of a country.

Naturally, an established country will have many more people in a better personal financial situation.

Main Difference Between Developed and Developing Countries

Of course, all of this begs the question: what would be a couple of defining characteristics differentiate between developed and developing countries? When it comes to a fully established country, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. They have good living conditions.
  2. They have a high standard of living
  3. A developed country would have strong factors of production.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about developed and developing countries

Why do developed countries use more resources than developing countries?

Developed countries use more resources because they rely less on labour and more on machines. Developed countries use resources in almost all the activities they carry out.

For example, you will find automatic car washers in developed countries rather than developing countries.

A car washer will use much more water. More machines are used instead of labour, which increases energy consumption. In developed countries, more electricity is generated to avoid power outages. It simply means more carbon and water use.

Developed countries are also open to new technological experiments. All of these cost much more resources compared to developing countries.

What is the number one energy source used in developing countries?

Fossil fuels are the number one energy source used in developing countries. Fossil fuels can be divided into three categories:

 1) Oil
 2) Coal and
 3) Natural Gas

Which country produces the most renewable energy? 

China produces the largest amount of renewable energy globally, followed by the United States of America and Brazil. Canada and India are in fourth and fifth place.

In terms of cleaner electricity production per person, Iceland tops the list. It produces almost 100% of its energy with renewable resources.

How do developed countries help developing countries?

Developed countries help developing countries in three main ways.

1. Health care – Developed countries help developing countries with health care. It is observed that many people in developing countries suffer from a lack of proper medical care. Developed countries open medical camps in developing countries that help provide medical care to those who cannot afford expensive treatment. Many developed countries offer advanced health training to doctors from developing countries.

2. Economy – Developed countries try to help developing countries by lowering the rate of tariffs, thus promoting international trade. They also provide funds to establish industries in developing countries. Many companies from developed countries work in collaboration with companies from developing countries. It provides labour to people, and the products made are usually cheaper.

3. Education – Many developed countries provide better educational opportunities to developing countries through scholarships.


As you can see, there are many differences between a developed country and a developing country.

A developed country will always be autonomous and prosper even when it does not receive much external help. A developing country will need a lot of help in many different areas to operate effectively.

The main thing to remember is that a developed nation is now sovereign, while a developing country is still working towards that same goal.

Courtesy: Queens College

Leave a Comment