What is the Difference Between Developing and Least Developed Countries?

The world is a mix of different nations/countries with unique cultures and diversification based on different parameters and multiple observations.

There are 195 countries in the world, and all of these are divided into three categories: first world countries, second world countries, and third world countries.

There are 195 nations in the world and of which a total of 193 countries belong to the member states of the United Nations. 2 other countries are called non-member observer states.

Few parameters exist to denote or recognize countries as developed or developing. The parameters are:

  1. Freedom of the press or media
  2. Rights of all human beings in the nation
  3. world of peace
  4. Index of happiness and economy of the nation

Developing countries are usually separated and labelled as countries with lower income levels per person.

They are further classified into moderate and least developed countries using these statistics. In general, less developed countries have much lower incomes per person. The difference between developing countries and less developed countries is the per capita income of the people. Developing countries survive marginally on average to below-average per capita income, while least developed countries have very low per capita income.

Comparative table between developing and least developed countries


Developing countries

Least developed countries

Per Capita Income

Per capita income is between medium and less measurable in these countries

Per capita income is less than poor in these countries

Population Rate

The population growth rate in these countries is high

The population growth rate in these countries is moderate to high

Agricultural Dependency

The dependence on the agriculture sector is high, but the techniques are backward.

Dependence on the agriculture sector is low and lagging behind.

Unemployment Rate

The unemployed factor is at its maximum

The unemployed factor is at the highest level compared to developing countries.

Capital Markets

They are under development.

They have the least developed financial systems

What are developing countries?  

A developing country is defined as the nation with the lowest economic rate and per capita income.

There are multiple sources of the economic process in these countries, such as natural factors, human capital factors, physical capital and technological factors, and institutional factors.

The economic stability of the developing country is used determined by the factors mentioned below. :

  1. Higher earnings
  2. Better economic indicators of well-being
  3. Higher government revenue
  4. difference creation
  5. Negative outsourcing and lack of ownership

The common characteristics of developing countries are :

  1. A commonplace of very low life, low income, inequality, poor health and inadequate education.
  2. Low productivity levels
  3. High growth rates and dependency burdens (proportions of children and adults)
  4. High and rising levels of underemployment and status
  5. Substantial dependence on agricultural production and exports of the first market
  6. Prevalence of imperfect markets and restricted information
  7. Dominance, dependence and vulnerability in the negotiation

Diversity among developing nations can be obtained by working on these factors such as:

  1. Resourcing
  2. historical background
  3. Location and structure of population factors
  4. Ethnic and non-secular breakdown
  5. The structure of trade
  6. Levels of financial profit per capita
  7. political structure

What are the least developed countries? 

The least developed countries (LDCs) are developing countries with many obstacles to development. Less developed countries have low human value aspects and are also useless in dealing with economic and natural calamities.

The development committee validates the status of least developed countries every three years. Recent statistics show that there are 47 countries in this category, currently.

LDCs have exclusive access to certain international support measures, especially in development aid and trade.

They are at the bottom of the human development index.

Classification criteria:

  1. Low-Income Criteria: A country must have a GNI per capita of less than $1,025 to be included in the list of least developed countries.
  2. The value of education and the nation’s health
  3. Stability of agriculture and production through agriculture.

The categories included in the economic vulnerability index are population size, remoteness, export of goods, the share of agriculture in GDP, homelessness due to natural disasters, and instability of agricultural production.

If the factors above fail, it will significantly impact the EVI, which indirectly affects the LDC and acts as a barrier to growth.

Main differences between developing and least developed countries

  • The main difference between developing and least developed countries is that developing countries have better per capita income and GDP than least developed countries.
  • In developing countries, the literacy rate is moderate, but the illiteracy rate is very high in less developed countries.
  • Developing countries have comparatively better infrastructure and a better environment in terms of health and safety, absent in the least developed countries.
  • The income of developing countries comes mainly from the services sectors. In contrast, less developed countries generate income from exporting or trade of natural resources.
  • In developing countries, people’s living standards are comparatively better, which is in poor condition in less developed countries.


Developing countries have reached the level of sustaining industrial production, while least developed countries have started such activities in their countries.

Developing nations are undertaking such activities for the first time in their history.

The least developed countries have lacked manpower and innovation in using resources for industrial development.

Workforce development is good compared to less-developed nations.

Courtesy: Queens College

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