What is a Developed Country?

A highly developed economy and technologically advanced infrastructure are determining factors of developed countries.
A highly developed economy and technologically advanced infrastructure are determining factors of developed countries.

A developed country is a sovereign state with high industrial and Human Development Index compared to other countries. It must also have a technologically advanced infrastructure, and its economy must be highly developed. It is also referred to as industrialized country or more developed country.

Determining Factors

There are several parameters used to determine the level of economic development of a country and they include Human Development Index, income per capita, political stability, industrialization, freedom and living standards of the general population, Gross national Product (GNP), and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Human Development Index (HDI)

HDI is a measure developed by the UN to measure human development in a country and the higher the HDI the more prosperous the country is. Unlike the GDP or GNP, which give income and productivity only, HDI give how income is turned into human development like education or health. For a developed country the literacy, education, and health levels are high. When considering HDI, access to good health care and child mortality rate at birth is considered while access to quality and free education, years spent in school and ability to incorporate learned knowledge to real-life situations are considered. In a developed nation, the rate of child mortality at birth is extremely low, and the education is accessible to all. The HDI is always quantified and put on a scale between 0 and 1 with most developed having a score above 0.8.

Income Per Capita

This refers to the average amount of money a person receives within one year in a specific region. It is calculated by dividing the total income in a specific country by the total population of that country, and this value is always high in a developed country. High per capita income signifies high economic and financial security for the general population of that nation. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is also used to determine the per capita value. GDP is the market value of the final product produced in a country for a particular period mostly quarterly or yearly. If the GDP of a nation is high, then that state is more developed.


For a developed country, the rate of industrialization and employment is high thus the general population depends less on agriculture. Such a nation will have higher export than imports hence the profits from the international trade will ensure that there is economic growth hence increase in industrialization. The technological infrastructure of a developed nation is also high due to the high level of industrialization.

Political Stability

The index for measuring political stability was developed by World Bank and it is a measure of the level of development of a country. Developed countries have stable political environment, low or no corruption, and high level of respect to the country's laws. Good Governance ensures that the level of corruption is low, transparency in running the government is high, and employment is based on merit and qualifications. The Global Governance Indicator is standardized on a scale of -2.5 and +2.5 points with the +2.5 being the highest standards of political stability signifying a developed nation.

General Living Standards

The cost of living in a developed country is high compared to the less developed country, and this is because the majority of the population is willing and has the financial ability to afford quality goods and services which are expensive. Secondly, goods produced by local industries are mostly consumed as opposed to imported products which might be inferior. The general public has access to clean water and environment, affordable and quality housing and access to other social and economic amenities in the country like access to emergency services are fast.


A developed country has freedom for its citizens and respects the law. The freedom to worship, marry, own property, and access to information characterizes a developed nation. In the less developed countries, there are a lot of restrictions and citizens cannot do whatever they like freely. Some of the developed countries are Australia, the United States of America, Canada, Japan, Germany, and United Kingdom among others.


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