Economic Growth vs. Development

Difference Between Economic Growth and Development

While discussing economic growth and development, you might first feel that we are talking about the same thing. However, in reality though they are related they are different concepts used in different references by economists. People at times use these terms interchangeably. That is not the right practice. The difference between the terms will be clear to you on reading this article.

A country’s economic growth is a quantitative measure and there are indicators showing them. GDP and GNP are indicators tell not only the size of an economy, as they reiterate the number and percentage of how much economy grew compared to last year. Development, on the other hand, being an abstract concept is difficult to measure. Yes, you can tell the difference as when there is a evident difference in the lifestyles of the locals but the development is not only restricted to income levels but also covers many more indicators as life expectancy, the education, health and many other factors that go into improving the quality of life. A country may be rich like when its GDP is high, but if the social fabric is not developed, the country is still not considered developed. However, it is noted that economic growth is invariably present in presence of economic development. We can check this in the list of countries placed according to their GDP. Countries like China and India, are not considered as developed though have a relatively high GDP and a large economy, because of their modest ranks on other parameters such as health, education and the life expectancy.

The socio-economic development cause economic growth involuntarily in a country as was the case with many countries that are included in the list of developed countries today. Due to such contemplations, fully index called the Human Development Index (HDI) was developed to rank countries according to their economic development and not only as per their GDP is really a pseudonym.


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