Difference Between Developed Countries and Developing Countries (With Table)

Developed Countries vs Developing Countries

The key difference between Developed Countries and Developing Countries lies in the fact that developed countries are the countries that are self-sufficient and developed in terms of industries and economies.

Developing countries are not self-sufficient.

The rate of unemployment and poverty is low in developed countries, but in developing countries, the rate is high. The industrial growth is high in developed countries, whereas developing countries depend on developed countries.

A developed country is a nation that has a highly progressed economy, an infrastructure with great technology, and a higher per-capita income.

A developed country will also have a higher standard of living than a third-world country. It has been estimated that there are about five dozen developed countries in the world today.

These would include the countries of Norway, Switzerland, Australia, Ireland, Germany, Iceland, Hong Kong, Sweden, Singapore, and the Netherlands.

The United States and the United Kingdom are currently listed at #13 and #14, respectively.

For a country to be considered “developed”, certain criteria must be met. First of all, they must have a per capita income of $22,000 or higher.

They must have a human development index of at least 0.800, and they must possess an industrialized economy, focusing on manufacturing rather than the typical agrarian farming activities of an underdeveloped nation.


Developing Nations – Introduction

One of the main differences between developed nations and developing countries is that the latter hasn’t quite made it to developed status.

Various factors play into this, including the following:

1) They have a low per-capita income.

Indeed, one of the defining characteristics of a developing economy would be one where most individuals have a low income.

In a developing country, wages are usually very low.

This means that the average citizen of this country will usually spend whatever income they have. They won’t have any money left over to save or invest back into their economy.

Unfortunately, since most of the citizens of a developing economy are using all of their financial resources to meet their basic needs, this creates a cycle of poverty that many individuals might never escape from.

Moreover, this also usually means that the percentage of “absolute poverty” in these countries will be considerably higher than any industrialized nation.

2) Larger Families and More Population Growth

One constant and interesting statistic within a developing country would be that they usually have larger population growth than a developed nation.

This is often because the family believes that the more children they have, the larger their “workforce”, and the more income they might receive.

Of course, this is also due in part to a lack of sex education and family planning options in these countries.

Here are some extra ways that developed and developing countries are alike and different:


Comparison Table Between Developed Countries and Developing Countries (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonDeveloped CountriesDeveloping Countries
EconomyIndustrializedService-based; agrarian
RatesLow infant mortality rate; high literacy rate; a higher rate of skilled workersA high rate of illiteracy; a high infant mortality rate
Living ConditionsGood and safeModerate but dangerous at times


What is a Developing Country?

The best way to define a developing country would be a nation that has a much lower industrial base than a developed country.

This means that the country in question usually has a much lower GDP than established countries.

Of course, when it comes to the term “developing”, it is important to note that scholars disagree on just which countries fit this category.

However, it generally is defined as a “currently observed situation”, and developing countries often have several characteristics:

1) Low levels of access to basic hygiene, sanitation, and safe drinking water.

These are all things that we in developing countries take for granted, but many third-world countries don’t have this.

The lack of clean drinking water is part of the reason why developing countries often have a lot of problems with sickness and infectious diseases.

2) Low education levels.

For a society to progress, people need to be educated. This is often lacking in a developing country.

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Education can help them properly solve problems, have access to new farming and cultivation methods, and many other advancement strategies.

3) High incidence of infectious diseases.

In a developing country, many of the common childhood infectious diseases still have a stronghold.

Not only that, but they often can be deadly. Conditions such as measles, chickenpox, and malaria can wipe out a generation in some cases.

Developed Countries and Developing Countries
Developed Countries and Developing Countries on world map

What is a Developed Country?

By the same token, several characteristics would define a developed country.

There is an old saying that goes, “…as long as they keep the trains coming on time.” This means infrastructure! and this is one of the hallmarks of a developed country.

They have an organized infrastructure throughout their roads, transportation, and other areas. Of course, that is just the start.

Here are some extra areas that define a fully developed country:

1) Developed countries have a higher Human Development Index (HDI)

The Human Development Index (HDI) is a measure adopted by the United Nations that is one way to fully gauge not only a prosperous economy but also what a country does with its economy as well.

2) Developed countries will usually have a higher net wealth per capita.

One of the things that would go hand-in-hand with the Human Development Index (HDI) would be the relative net wealth of a country.

Naturally, an established country is going to have a lot more individuals who are also in a better personal financial situation.

Developed Countries and Developing Countries Ratio
Developed Countries and Developing Countries ration in the world

Main Differences Between Developed Countries and Developing Countries

Of course, this all begs the question, just what would a couple of defining characteristics that would differentiate between developed and developing countries? When it comes to a fully established country, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. They have good living conditions.
  2. They possess a high standard of living, and
  3. A developed country would have solid factors of production.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Developed Countries and Developing Countries

  1. Why do Developed Countries use more resources than Developing Countries?

    Developed countries use more resources because they depend less on labor and more on machines.

    Developed countries use resources in almost every activity they carry out.

    For example – You will find automatic car washers in developed countries rather than developing countries.

    A car washer is going to use much more water. More machines are used instead of labor hence increase energy consumption.

    More electricity is generated in developed countries to avoid power cuts. It simply means more use of coal and water.

    Developed countries are also open to carrying out new technological experiments. All these cost a lot more resources as compared to developing countries.

  2. What is the #1 energy source used in Developing Countries?

    Fossil fuel is the #1 energy source used in developing countries. Fossil fuels can be divided into three categories:
    1) Oil
    2) Coal, and
    3) Natural gas

  3. Which country produces the most renewable energy?

    China produces the most renewable energy in the world followed by the United States of America and Brazil. Canada and India are at the 4th and 5th spots.

    In terms of cleanest electricity production per person, Iceland tops the list. It produces almost 100% of its energy with renewable resources.

  4. How Developed Countries Help Developing Countries?

    Developed countries help developing countries in three major ways.

    Healthcare – Developed countries help developing countries with healthcare. It is observed that many people in developing countries suffer from a lack of proper medical attention.
    Developed countries open medical camps in developing countries that help in providing medical attention to those who cannot afford expensive treatment.
    Many developed countries provide advance healthcare training to doctors from developing countries.
    Economy – Developed countries try to help developing countries by reducing the rate of tariffs hence promoting international trade.
    They also provide funds to set up industries in developing countries. Many companies from developed countries work in collaboration with companies in developing countries.
    It provides labor to the people and the products manufactured are usually cheaper.
    Education – Many developed countries provide better education opportunities to developing countries in the form of scholarships.



Developed Countries vs Developing Countries



As you can see, there are many differences between a developed country and a developing country.

A developed country will always be self-contained, and they will flourish even when they don’t get very much outside assistance. A developing country will need a lot of help in many different areas to operate effectively.

Either way, the main thing to remember is that a developed nation is now sovereign; whereas a developing country is still working to reach that same goal.


Word Cloud for Difference Between Developed Countries and Developing Countries

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Developed Countries and Developing Countries. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

developed countries and developing countries
Word Cloud for Developed Countries and Developing Countries



  1. https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/policy/wesp/wesp_current/2014wesp_country_classification.pdf
  2. https://www.scielosp.org/article/bwho/2001.v79n10/963-970/en/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2393424/pdf/bullwho00035-0105.pdf
  4. https://www.nber.org/chapters/c5842.pdf

4 thoughts on “Difference Between Developed Countries and Developing Countries (With Table)”

  1. hahaha πŸ™‚ after reading this and reading the numbers given here, everyone would want to be born in a developed country

    • yes Avish, its a privilege to be born in a developed country but there are people who feel more satisfied when they face hardships in developing countries and overcome these hardships. The real satisfaction is when you can go against odds and achieve success.

  2. Hi Piyush,

    I am from Africa (Nigeria) and we do come under developing countries.
    If I compare the current situation with the one when I was school going kid, a lot has improved but then the developed countries have also improved a lot.

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