What is an Underdeveloped Country?

A Underdeveloped country Is a nation where the average income is much lower than in an industrial nation, where the economy depends on a few export crops and where agriculture is carried out by primitive methods.

In many developing countries , Rapid population growth threatens food supply. Developing nations have also been called underdeveloped nations at the time.

Example of underdeveloped country in which a child is forced to work

These countries, whose economic development status is characterized by low national income, also show a high rate of population growth and unemployment and depend on commodity exports.

Some characteristics of underdeveloped countries

Most of the countries from which these countries originate are Asia, Africa and Latin America, which fit into this model and are therefore collectively known as developing countries or third world countries.

Third world countries

The underdeveloped countries are characterized by massive poverty, which is chronic and by the result of temporary misfortunes. But also by obsolete methods of production and social organization, which means that poverty is not due to poor natural resources and, therefore, could be diminished by methods already proven in other countries.

Many things prevent underdeveloped nations from achieving better results. Most of these countries do not have the resources to develop programs to educate and train citizens to cultivate or perform skilled jobs.

Malnutrition also reduces life expectancy and makes many unable to work, to which is added the basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter, which are also scarce.

Measures and indices

According to the UN, a developing country is a country with a relatively low standard of living, an underdeveloped industrial base and a moderate to low Human Development Index (HDI). This index is a comparative measure of poverty, literacy, education, life expectancy and other factors for countries around the world.

The HDI was developed in 1990 by the Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq And has been used since 1993 by the United Nations Program in its annual report on human development. The publication has classified the world economies between"developed economies and underdeveloped economies". They use this classification to list countries around the world.

There are important social and economic differences between developed countries And developing countries. Many of the underlying causes of these differences are rooted in the long history of development of such nations and include social, cultural and economic variables, historical and political elements, international relations and geographical factors.

Some think that countries and peoples form a continuous economic spectrum, but the reality is that they present different stages of economic development.

The fact is that to measure or group them, the Index of their Gross National Product per capita and an amount closely related to the average income of the individuals (although approximately a third) are taken into account.

Low-income countries have a GNP per capita of $ 875 and less (in 2005) and middle-income countries have a per capita GNP of $ 876 to $ 10,725.

Search for solutions

Most people in the world are known to be poor and most of these people live in countries that are sometimes called underdeveloped or, more euphemistically,"developing"or"emerging." They have also been termed" Third World ", Although it is a term that is becoming more and more disused.

What is an Underdeveloped Country?

But it is difficult to realize how poor is the naked survival of most of the human beings on the planet or to appreciate the gap in living standards that divide the world.

In the underdeveloped world, the amount of food per person is small. It should be noted that both quantity and quality may increase in the future, but only if decisive and effective efforts are made in cooperation between developed and underdeveloped countries. For example, population growth rates in the underdeveloped world can be reduced by programs designed for this purpose.

The problem of achieving a better future balance between population and food supplies must be tackled on broad fronts, by vigorously campaigning to reduce population growth rates, expand cultivated area and forge the increase in cropping intensity To the maximum extent possible.

This will mainly involve resource development, land control and recovery, and also help increase crop yields.

If most of these aspects were taken into account, a phase similar to that of economic development could be experienced, crop yields would be higher and would produce very important results.

The industrialized countries of the world clearly have an important but disheartening task ahead of them as they try to help bridge the economic and social gap between North and South.

There is much work to be done to expand and redirect international aid, while opening up international markets and managing to resolve their debts. It is critical that developed countries focus their attention on these issues immediately.

All countries have a share in development. In the end, if the Third World explodes, its problems (poverty, pollution, terrorism, etc.) will explode with it.


Thus, considering all the definitions of underdeveloped countries, it can be concluded that:

  1. Underdeveloped economies are characterized by the prevalence of low per capita incomes.
  2. The prevalence of"mass poverty"in underdeveloped countries has been the result of a low level of development.
  3. Mass poverty in these economies has also resulted from the scarce resource base.
  4. Mass poverty in these economies has arisen from obsolete production methods, but not from poor natural resources and social exploitation.


  1. Houghton Mifflin (2005). Developing Nation. The American Heritage. Retrieved from: www.dictionary.com.
  2. Gardner Patterson (1995). The Future of Underdeveloped Countries by Eugene Staley. The American Economic Review. Retrieved from: jstor.org.
  3. Roger Revelle (1966). Population and food supplies: The edge of the knife. Harvard University Center for Population Studies. Retrieved from: popline.org.
  4. Natasha Kwaith (2016). Underdeveloped Countries. Economics Discussion. Recovered from: economicsdiscussion.net.

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