Underdeveloped Countries 2022

The term underdeveloped country refers to a country with a lower level of economic development than other countries. Underdeveloped country is an unofficial term. However, the United Nations classifies 46 countries as least-developed as of 2021.

World Bank refers to low-income nations as low-income countries, whereas other organizations refer to them as emerging markets, newly industrialized countries, or global south.

The Human Development Index (HDI) and developing nations:

The UN’s Human Development Index is a typical way to classify a country’s level of development (HDI). Human development is measured using metrics like life expectancy, education, and per capita income.

The Human Development Index (HDI) assigns a score to each country, ranging from 0 to 1, based on its level of development. As a general rule, there are four tiers: low human development, medium human development, and high human development.

The world’s 10 least developed nations (United Nations HDI 2020)

  1. Niger – .394
  2. Central African Republic – .397
  3. Chad – .398
  4. Burundi – .433 (tie)
  5. South Sudan – .433 (tie)
  6. Mali – .434
  7. Burkina Faso – .452 (tie)
  8. Sierra Leone – .452 (tie)
  9. Mozambique – .456
  10. Eritrea – .459

A low HDI does not ensure that a nation would appear on the list of least-developed countries. A reasonably high HDI does not guarantee that a country will not be categorized as an LDC, despite the usefulness of the HDI as a predictor.

For instance, despite having an HDI of 0.539, Nigeria does not appear on the LDC list, although Bangladesh does, with an HDI of 0.632.

Certain discrepancies may be found since the criteria used to compile the least-developed list vary from those used to compile the HDI. Even if Nigeria’s income isn’t the most effective, it’s substantial enough that the nation isn’t classified as the world’s least developed. 

Characteristics of underdeveloped countries

Many people in underdeveloped nations live in very impoverished circumstances and have limited access to education and health services. Even in less developed nations, outdated manufacturing and social structures are commonplace.

Their infrastructure and supply networks are further strained by high birth rates and population expansion, contributing to the prevalent poverty in these countries. In reality, the following seven economic characteristics are seen in almost every impoverished country:

There is widespread poverty in developing nations due to low income per capita. For example, in the United States, the 2006 per capita GNP was $44,970. Less than 1.4 percent of what Americans spend was spent in low-income nations, with an average of $650 (US).

There is a lack of capital, both public and private, in underdeveloped countries—not only are there few citizens who own lumberyards, factories, and other businesses, but the government is nearly as impoverished and lacks funds to properly build and support infrastructures such as roads, railways, schools, and hospitals.

Excessive population growth—The birth rate in many undeveloped nations is far higher than the mortality rate, resulting in an explosion in the population. Infrastructure, food supply, and social services may not be able to keep up with population increase if it occurs too rapidly.

Unemployment rates out of control—One of the most damaging effects of population expansion that is out of proportion to economic growth is an increase in the number of people without jobs.

Many developing nations still rely heavily on agriculture, with 40-50 percent of national GDP from the sector, compared to only 2-8 percent in affluent ones.

There is little additional money to save or invest, so residents and governments in developing nations tend to spend what little they have in ways that don’t advance the country’s development (physical treasures rather than business investments, for example).

Productivity in developing nations is lower than in industrialized ones since the land, labor, and capital all tend to produce less. Laborers are under-educated and under-fed, and they get subpar health care. Less-technological alternatives are used to manage existing resources.

UN and World Bank initiatives are helping underdeveloped countries

Every 10 years, the United Nations (UN) convenes a summit on the world’s poor nations. By 2022, the UN wants to see half of the world’s currently developing nations achieve a better economic position.

Through assistance in trade and market access, the World Trade Organization (WTO) has developed an Integrated Framework of Action to stimulate economic growth.

The goal is that they can evolve into mature nations with advanced economies and technological advancements. Over the years, several nations have “graduated” from the United Nations’ list of LDCs, and five more are expected to join them shortly.

Graduates from the United Nations list of Least Developed Countries (LDCs):

  1. Sikkim – 1975 (became part of India)
  2. Botswana – 1994
  3. Cabo Verde/Cape Verde – 2007
  4. Maldives – 2011
  5. Samoa – 2014
  6. Equatorial Guinea – 2017
  7. Vanuatu – 2020

The United Nations Least Developed Countries (LDCs) list is set to be retired:

  1. Bhutan – 13 Dec 2023
  2. Angola – 12 Feb 2024
  3. São Tomé and Príncipe – 13 Dec 2024
  4. Solomon Islands – 13 Dec 2024
  5. Laos – 24 Nov 2026

Also See: Traditional Economy Countries 2022

The following are the 10 nations with the worst levels of human development:

  1. Tuvalu (not ranked)
  2. Palestine (not ranked)
  3. Laos (not ranked)
  4. Somalia (not ranked)
  5. South Korea (not ranked)
  6. Niger (0.394)
  7. Central African Republic (0.397)
  8. Chad (0.398)
  9. South Sudan (0.433)
  10. Burundi (0.433)

CountryU.N. LDCU.N. HDI 2020World Trade Organization LDCWorld Bank classification
BhutanYes0.6540AppliedLower middle income
BangladeshYes0.6320YesLower middle income
KiribatiYes0.6300NoLower middle income
Timor-LesteYes0.6060AppliedLower middle income
NepalYes0.6020YesLower middle income
CambodiaYes0.5940YesLower middle income
ZambiaYes0.5840YesLower middle income
MyanmarYes0.5830YesLower middle income
AngolaYes0.5810YesLower middle income
Solomon IslandsYes0.5670YesLower middle income
ComorosYes0.5540AppliedLower middle income
MauritaniaYes0.5460YesLower middle income
BeninYes0.5450YesLower middle income
UgandaYes0.5440YesLow income
RwandaYes0.5430YesLow income
TanzaniaYes0.5290YesLower middle income
MadagascarYes0.5280YesLow income
LesothoYes0.5270YesLower middle income
DjiboutiYes0.5240YesLower middle income
TogoYes0.5150YesLow income
SenegalYes0.5120YesLower middle income
AfghanistanYes0.5110YesLow income
SudanYes0.5100AppliedLow income
HaitiYes0.5100YesLower middle income
GambiaYes0.4960YesLow income
EthiopiaYes0.4850AppliedLow income
MalawiYes0.4830YesLow income
DR CongoYes0.4800YesLow income
LiberiaYes0.4800YesLow income
Guinea-BissauYes0.4800YesLow income
GuineaYes0.4770YesLow income
YemenYes0.4700YesLow income
EritreaYes0.4590NoLow income
MozambiqueYes0.4560YesLow income
Burkina FasoYes0.4520YesLow income
Sierra LeoneYes0.4520YesLow income
MaliYes0.4340YesLow income
BurundiYes0.4330YesLow income
South SudanYes0.4330AppliedLow income
ChadYes0.3980YesLow income
Central African RepublicYes0.3970YesLow income
NigerYes0.3940YesLow income
SomaliaYesAppliedLow income
LaosYesYesLower middle income
TuvaluYesNoUpper middle income
IranNo0.7830NoLower middle income
Sri LankaNo0.7820NoLower middle income
UkraineNo0.7790NoLower middle income
AlgeriaNo0.7480NoLower middle income
TunisiaNo0.7400NoLower middle income
MongoliaNo0.7370NoLower middle income
UzbekistanNo0.7200NoLower middle income
IndonesiaNo0.7180NoLower middle income
PhilippinesNo0.7180NoLower middle income
BoliviaNo0.7180NoLower middle income
BelizeNo0.7160NoLower middle income
SamoaNo0.7150NoLower middle income
EgyptNo0.7070NoLower middle income
VietnamNo0.7040NoLower middle income
KyrgyzstanNo0.6970NoLower middle income
MoroccoNo0.6860NoLower middle income
El SalvadorNo0.6730NoLower middle income
Cape VerdeNo0.6650NoLower middle income
NicaraguaNo0.6600NoLower middle income
IndiaNo0.6450NoLower middle income
HondurasNo0.6340NoLower middle income
GhanaNo0.6110NoLower middle income
EswatiniNo0.6110NoLower middle income
KenyaNo0.6010NoLower middle income
ZimbabweNo0.5710NoLower middle income
SyriaNo0.5670NoLow income
CameroonNo0.5630NoLower middle income
PakistanNo0.5570NoLower middle income
Papua New GuineaNo0.5550NoLower middle income
NigeriaNo0.5390NoLower middle income
Ivory CoastNo0.5380NoLower middle income
South KoreaNoNoLow income
PalestineNoNoLower middle income

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