Characteristics of Developing Countries

Characteristics of Developing Countries
Developing countries are also called poor countries. Sometimes they are often called underdeveloped economics. According to the UN criteria, countries with less than $400 level of per capita income countries are designated as low income countries and countries with less than $750 per capita income as called less developed economics. The following are the main characteristics of developing countries:

General Poverty

Developing countries are poor. By definition, GDP and Per Capita Income are at low level. General living standard of people in these countries is very slow. Poverty is visibly disturbing every aspect of life. General health services for people is insignificant. The life expectancy at birth does not exceeds 60 years.

High Dependence on Agriculture

Agriculture is the main occupation in developing countries. More than 70 percent of active labor force is engaged in this primary sector. Population increases and the increased labor stick to agriculture thereby over burdening the firm size. There is low output per head.

Underutilized Natural Resources

Most of the developing countries are rich in natural resources. However, their exploration and exploitation is limited. Sometimes, foreign companies control them. Generally, raw products are exported at low prices.

Lack of Industries and Enterprises
Characteristics of Developing Countries
The industrial sector in developing countries is at the primary stage of development. Its contribution to GDP is less than 10% employing 2 to 4% of the labor force. Industrial growth is very slow.

Lack of Capital and Technology

Capital deficiency is another common problem of developing countries. Because the countries are poor, they save less which results in low capital formation. They possess less investment capital. In addition their existing technology is old and unproductive.

Lack of Basic Infrastructures

The factors that help for development are called infrastructures. Good road system, highways, telephone, services, big dams and canals, banks and financial services are some examples of the necessary infrastructures.

Vicious Circle of Poverty

Developing countries are poor. They have low per capita income. Low income means less saving, that is less capital and less investment. Low investment leads to less production that means low income. The vicious circle of poverty is complete. It proves that a poor country is poor because it is poor. It is better understood from the following relation:

Low Investment-Low Production-Low Capital-Low Investment-Low Production-Low Income

Demographic Characteristics

There is high growth rate of population in developing countries. It is as high as 3 percent per annum. Children under the age of 15 constitutes a large proportion, generally more than 40 percent of the total population. Together these two age groups from about 45 percent of the population. Because these groups are economically inactive, they have to depend on the family.

Socio-cultural Characteristics

Different kinds of social groups reside in a country. They differ in terms of religion, castes, and creeds, cultures and customs, languages and beliefs, etc. Such social and cultural values have deep impact in the economy of a nation, Developing countries barbour may discordant social patterns in their economic life.

Dualistic Economy

All the sectors of economy have not been developed in developing countries. Employment opportunities or activities exists in urban areas whereas traditional production method is used in rural areas. Employment opportunities are less. Hence, these countries have dualistic economy which results in various problems with formulating economic policies.


I think one needs to be a bit cautious in lumping the "Third World" together in any way. See my Data Visualisation Resources on my blog with hundreds of statistics sources, esp. the multimedia visualisation of Prof. Rosling about Myths about developing countries.


Illiteracy , More Dependence on Foreign Capital , Backward Human Resources Are also a Characteristics Of Developing Countries


Regular starvations and low moral values are some of the characteristcs, according to Prof. MJ


Point Per Capita Income should be added.


varying income inequality, insufficient state tax collection and provision of basic services.


अशिक्षा व बरोजगारी की सबसे अधिक कमजोरी हैं विकास के आगे


lack of brands and eduction should we add there


there is a growth resulting from a high degree of self reliance,optimum utilization of natural resources,changing socio_cultural,political and institutional arrangements.


How about you include examples of countries... e.g poverty - Somalia, Kenya and so on..


Very appropriate.
Helped me in the best way.
Thank you :)


It helped me a lot... Thank you for answer and those comments helped me too.. but wondering how should i relate the examples... if possible please comment examples also...please it's a humble request.

This comment has been removed by the author.

Nice description about third WORLD countries as we call them.
Ease of economic development and political stability issue should be added though. 😉


Nice description about third WORLD countries as we call them.
Ease of economic development and political stability issue should be added though. 😉


Nice description about third WORLD countries as we call them.
Ease of economic development and political stability issue should be added though. 😉


I'm from south Africa, only certain aspects of this article are true but the rest are not, we do have a dualistic economy, but we have a lot of infrastructure advanced fibre internet, wifi access in all universities, research facilities-look at how we have handled the hiv/aids pandemic , and a whole lot others. what you have included in this article is typical of an underdeveloped country and not a developing country-clarify your information, there's big data if you need any by the way.


On what scale does your Prof MJ measure moral values


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Very educative am enlightened,


This topic on Characteristics Of Developing Countries was very useful for academic purpose. Thanks to the blogger.


Very helpful..Thanks to the blogger.


It is good to give this insight of the socio-economic characteristics of developing countries. However, the question is who are causing this problems?


Oh please don't drag Kenya into your petty narratives of poverty. Back off 😒


Thanks guys... Your suggestions helped me a lot in my examination... 😘😘


I used to live in India, but now I live in the Netherlands in Europe. I see huge difference in agriculture when i compare. In Netherlands everything is technology and they use machines to harvest crops and to gather them. So as India is a developing country but it still is a poor country with the worlds second largest population. This was all I wanted to say, my English isn't so good because I'm am just a 12 year child. But I really thank this app because it helped me and the information was so clear.


Kenya is not poor...kenya is so rich just that we are faced by different high rates of corruption...this also affects many countries as well ..just that people tend to notice the speck in us..and the forget the logs in their countries


I don't find you English is poor.yes the difference you mentioned was right but why such difference is seen you need to think about it. People of India are poor secondary in India not all the farmers having large area for cultivation.But those have large area such as big farmers they are using machine.
Priya as mentioned you are just 12 nice seeing taking interest in these topic good bless you...and my English is also not good.


What are the main Population Characteristics of the developed countries?


Lack of capital and the misuse of natural resources


Nice preparation Beta.A child of 12 has such awakening about her surrounding, is appreciable.Never look behind Child.Go further. God bless u.


this is a whole lot of information about developing countries
how ever what are the charecteristics of developed countries


Wow interesting. I have learnt a lot.Thanks


Wow interesting. I have learnt a lot.Thanks


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