The Differences Between Rich and Poor Countries

The Differences Between Rich and Poor Countries

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The Differences Between Rich and Poor Countries

More economically developed countries are richer. This means that the
countries make more money and the people in the countries have more
money to spend on health, education, food and luxuries. People in
these countries earn enough money so that they can borrow even more
and buy their own houses and cars. They do jobs in the service
industries, which mean they help people, like teachers and doctors.

Less economically developed countries are poorer. That means that the
countries make less money and the people in those countries have
little money to spend on health, education, food and luxuries. People
in these countries often grow their own food to feed themselves and
their families. This means that lots of people in less economically
developed countries are farmers.


Why Are Some Countries So Poor

There are lots of reasons why some countries like Africaand the Indian
sub continent are so poor.

Here are a few of these reasons:

Ø They are mostly old colonial countries. This means that they used to
be ruled by one of the rich countries. E.g. Britain used to rule over
India. During that period of time the country was exploited by
removing the valuable natural resources and not paying a fair price
for them.

Ø Since many of these countries have become independent they still
haven't been treated very well. Natural resources, like iron ore, are
still bought from them by richer countries which do not pay very much
for them. Raw materials are generally quite cheap. They are then
turned into something useful and sold back for a very high price. This
means that the poor countries actually get poorer.

Ø As well as the rich countries actually exploiting the poor ones they
have international debt. Many poor countries have borrowed billions of
pounds from the rich countries which charge huge amounts of interest
on the loans, thereby increasing the gap between rich and poor.



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Ø Even after all of this there is nature to think about. Nicaragua, a
poor country, borrowed millions to build some roads and bridges to
help its industry. Along came a hurricane and destroyed the roads and
bridges that they haven't finished paying for yet, so they have to
borrow more to re-build them.

Ø Many poor countries are dependant on one major export; Kenyafor
example is dependent on tea and coffee. This is fine when the world
price of tea and coffee is high. But when we buy our tea and coffee
from another country Kenya loses out as it does not make any more

Why are Some Countries Rich and Some Countries Poor

In the past pretty much all countries in the world where about as rich
as each other. Some were doing things differently; Chinafor example
was way ahead of countries like the UK in terms of writing and maths.

Then the European countries set about taking over areas of the world
and forming vast empires, just like the Romans really. But there was
one major spin off from this; the European countries suddenly owned a
huge amount of land that produced crops that could be used in the
European countries. This freed the European countries to set up

In the 1800's the Industrial Revolution occurred. The UK suddenly
became the place in the world where things got made. We still had an
empire so carried on getting cheap raw materials from the countries we
`owned` and were able to very quickly improve everyone's standard of
living. This still holds pretty much true today even though we have no
empire. The poor countries sell us raw materials like coal or iron
ore. These materials are relatively cheap and we can buy lots of them.
We then make them into cars, TV's etc which we then sell on for lots
of money. Manufactured goods are always more expensive than primary

The poor countries want the manufactured goods but cannot afford to
build their own factories as we charge so much for the goods. This
means the poor stay poor and the rich get richer.


How do Cities in Developed Countries Differ from Those In Developing

One of the main differences is that cities in the developed world are
not growing as rapidly as cities in the less developed world. London
grew rapidly in the 1800s as did most British cities because of the
Industrial Revolution. Factories developed in cities and their
population soared. Rows of terraced houses were built to house the
workers. Gradually as transport improved the more well off moved to
better standard residential areas in the suburbs. The population of
many large cities in the developed world has actually been static or
even falling because more and people have decided to live in the
countryside and commute to work. In general terms the poorest parts of
developed cities are the older inner city areas and the richer parts
are on the edge. Cities like Mexico City and many others in the less
developed world have grown very rapidly in population in recent years.
The cities attract people (PULL factors) because they offer the
promise of a better life. The rural areas are often poor and over
populated, encouraging people to leave (PUSH factors). This process is
called rural to urban migration. Although there is industry in less
developed cities there are not enough jobs for everyone. The cities
are not able to provide enough houses or schools or other services for
the huge number of new arrivals. Often people have to build their own
housing-called shanty towns-wherever there is spare land. In less
developed cities the poor shanty towns are usually found on the edge
and the better quality expensive housing near to the city centre with
all the shops and offices nearby. All big cities suffer from similar
problems in the form of pollution and congestion. The main problem for
less developed cities is the sheer pace of urbanisation and the lack
of money to deal with all the problems


Population differences

In poor countries children generally help their families, for example
in farming. In these countries people have to look after themselves
because the government does not have enough money for things like old
age pensions. Having a lot of children makes sense and it makes it
more likely that a child will be around to look after the parents when
they get old. In richer countries children are not much of an economic
asset! Having children is expensive, women want to have careers,
people marry later, and people have financial security so do not need
to depend on their children caring for them in old age. Studies have
shown that the best way of slowing down population growth in a country
is to educate the girls. So even without a country becoming richer it
is possible to slow down the birth rate.

Average Life Expectancy

There is a very strong connection between population and economic
development and this can be seen in the changes to the two
measurements you have mentioned. In the early stages of economic
development, birth rates are higher because:

- There is little or no birth control or family planning

- so many children die in infancy, that parents have more children so
that some will survive to both work on the land and to look after the
parents in old age

As the economic development of a country increases then birth rates
fall because:

- Infant mortality falls and so there is less need for numbers of
children to ensure the survival of some.

- Increased industrialisation means that there are more jobs other
than farming and so less need for child labour.

- As people become better off, they prefer material possessions (cars,
holidays, bigger homes) rather than large families.

- Education and more freedom for women enable them to follow their
careers rather than solely raise large families.

Life expectancy increases as a country becomes more economically
developed because:

- Better diets mean that people are healthier, can fight off diseases,
and so live longer.

- Improved medical facilities (hospitals, doctors and medicines) mean
that people can survive illnesses that would otherwise have ended
their lives and so people on average live longer.


Children will be lucky to have just a few years education. The schools
they attend will have few resources, in some places none. Slates or
chalk maybe used for writing as they are reusable. Paper and pencils
may be scarce or they bring their own (if it is available and they can
afford it). Girls, especially, are more useful at home - doing chores
or looking after younger siblings. Boys may have to help with farming
or the family business. Some schools have very few books (not one per
pupil, but one per class) and no technical or science equipment.
Classes are often very large (50-60) pupils, and often only half a day
so that pupils come in the morning or afternoon, to fit more in! Some
of those in teaching have had little education themselves.



christian aid

An agency of the churches in the UK and Ireland, Christian Aid works
wherever the need is greatest, irrespective of religion. It supports
local organisations, which are best placed to understand local needs,
as well as giving help on the ground through 16 overseas offices.

Christian Aid believes in strengthening people to find their own
solutions to the problems they face. It strives for a new world
transformed by an end to poverty and campaigns to change the rules
that keep people poor. Supported and sustained by the churches and
driven by the Gospel, Christian Aid is inspired by the dream of a new
earth where all people can secure a better and more just future.
Christian Aid's purpose is to expose the scandal of poverty and to
contribute to its eradication. The organisation strives to be
prophetic, challenging the systems and processes that work against the
interests of those who are poor or marginalised. Christian Aid
recognises that change will only come about as a movement is built of
individuals who are committed to a better world for all, bringing
their faith and talents, their energy, their influence, their gifts
and their actions, to achieve what should surely be possible.


Oxfam logo

Oxfam believes that:


Poverty is a denial of the basic rights to which every human being is


Poverty is of different kinds, and needs to be understood in its
entirety, rather than in part.


Poverty makes people more vulnerable to conflict and disasters.


Poverty is avoidable. Our purpose is to overcome its causes, not
simply to alleviate its symptoms.

Oxfam's Aims

Oxfam's vision is of a world where there is no longer poverty and
suffering. They want to help ensure that every individual is assured


a sustainable livelihood (the means to earn a reasonable living over
many years)


education and health (access to basic services)


life and security (when conflict or natural disasters strike)


a right to be heard (by those who make the decisions that affect their


a right to equity (not to be disadvantaged because of their gender or
ethnic identity)

Long-term Objectives

Oxfam's five aims are very broad in scope and its resources limited.
In order that these resources can be channelled to areas where they
can have the greatest impact, Oxfam has agreed a set of nine
statements which describe what we would like people living in poverty
to be able to achieve for themselves.

These are long-term objectives towards which we will make a specific
contribution as part of the broader global movement against poverty
and injustice. They are objectives which will guide the work of the
whole organisation - not just the international programme - and
against which we will judge our impact.


People living in poverty will achieve food and income security.


People living in poverty will have access to secure paid employment,
labour rights, and improved working conditions.


People living in poverty will achieve tangible improvements in their
health, through increased access to basic health services, clean
water, and sanitation.


All children living in poverty will achieve their right to a good
quality basic education, and poor adults will have access to
sufficient educational opportunities to help overcome their poverty.


Fewer people die, fall sick, and suffer deprivation as a result of
armed conflict or natural disasters.


Fewer people will suffer personal or communal violence, forced
displacement, or armed conflict.


All people will have an effective voice in influencing decisions
affecting their lives, will achieve their civil and political rights,
and will enjoy equal status with others.


Women and men will enjoy equal rights.


Ethnic, cultural, and other groups oppressed or marginalised by
reasons of their identity will enjoy equal rights and status with
other people
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