Why Poor Countries Are Poor

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Why Poor Countries Are Poor

The question of why poor countries are poor may seem simple and one dimensional at first glance. However, the answer to this question is actually quite intricate, as many interweaving aspects must be observed. Although it is impossible to explain why many countries remain in poverty within just a few pages, I will attempt to touch upon some of the broader factors. A poor country or a low-income economy is defined as a country with a Gross National Product per capita of $765 dollars or less. In 1995, the World Bank claimed that 49 countries fell into this category. Geography, colonialism, industrialization, resources, education, overpopulation, infrastructure, government, investment, and debt are only a few of the many interrelated factors that have caused many countries to remain in poverty.

One of the biggest reasons for such a low GNP is a country’s geographic location. Historically, the regions that have flourished have been those rich in primary resources such as water, irrigation, agriculture, fertile soil, etc. Water is perhaps the most essential of these resources. It has been a means for transportation, agriculture, and plays a key role in health. Nations without rivers and proper irrigation have had many problems developing. Countries in Europe (especially Northern Europe) have thrived because of its geographic location in relation to water. On the other hand, a country like Mexico lacks rivers and thus is not very fertile, resulting in problems with health. We can also see that poverty is stricken throughout countries in Africa (in particular the Sahara), because of its lack of water...

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... order to understand the problem with poor countries’ economic growth we cannot just look from an economic, political, or historical standpoint. If there were an easy answer to the question posed than perhaps poor countries would not exist.

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http://www.ciesin.org/IC/wbank/tde-home.html

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http://www.worldbank.org/prospects/gep2001/
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