Growth vs Development: Difference and Comparison

We generally use the words’ growth and development to point toward specific changes in a person. However, most of the time, these two words are mistaken to have the same meaning.

But these words have entirely different meanings from each other in various aspects.

Key Takeaways

  1. Growth refers to an increase in size or quantity, whereas development refers to a qualitative and quantitative change in an organism or entity.
  2. Growth is a gradual and measurable process, while development is a complex process that is not easily quantifiable.
  3. Growth can be observed through physical changes, while development can be observed through behaviour, skills, and abilities changes.

Growth vs. Development

The difference between growth and development is that growth concentrates on just quantitative changes in a person, whereas development pays attention to quantitative and qualitative changes. When you notice a person’s height or weight difference, it is referred to as growth, whereas if you see changes in one’s intelligence or behavior, it is referred to as development. 

Growth vs Development

Growth is the word that is generally used to note the changes in a person’s physical appearance. Growth is known as growth if a person’s weight or height increases over time.


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It is an external change that the naked eye can see. It is easily noticeable. These changes are biological, so they depend on the human body and, most of the time, parental genes.

On the other hand, development is the word we use to note the changes in one’s personality and skills. It determines the overall change in a person, such as their IQ level, intelligence, crafts, activities, etc.

It is an internal change that the naked eye can not see. To notice a person’s development, one has to evaluate him on various levels.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGrowthDevelopment
DefinitionIt is the measurable changes in a person. It is the qualitative as well as quantitative changes in a person.
Type of changePhysical changes like changes in height or weight.Changes in personality, intelligence, behavior, skills, etc.
ReasonBiological changes depending on parental genes and nutrition.Transformation depends on the environment a person is living in.
AppearancePhysical appearance changes.Personality changes.
NoticeableEasily noticeable since it is an external change.It cannot be noticed easily since it is an internal change.

What is Growth?

Growth is a measurable parameter. It is used to point towards the physical changes in a person, such as their height or weight.

Suppose a person’s weight is increased during a particular period. It will be referred to as his growth.

Growth is an external change that the naked eye can see. It is an easily noticeable change as we can tell when a person’s height or weight has increased just by looking at them.

Growth concentrates only on quantitative changes. However, growth does not continue for a lifetime.

It eventually stops at a certain age of a person. When a person reaches adolescence, growth is completed; hence, it does not continue any further.

Growth is the biological change in a person’s body, so it majorly depends on the parental genes and the nutrition a person is getting. It only affects the physical appearance of the person.


What is Development?

Development depends on a person’s qualitative and quantitative changes—for example, a person’s IQ increases from 40 to 50. Here we have a quantitative measure, i.e., 40 to 50, and a quantitative measure, i.e., improvement in the IQ level.

It generally refers to the overall change in a person, such as their IQ level, intelligence, skills, activities, personality, etc. Development is an internal change that the naked eye can not see.

It cannot be noticed easily since it is not a physical change. Through specific regular evaluations, we can detect the development of a person.

It will help us understand the changes in their behavior and skills over time. Development does not depend on biological changes.

It depends on organizational conversion. And hence development never stops.

It continues throughout a person’s life. Development is the change in one’s character and skills; therefore, it depends on the environment in which a person is growing up.

It affects a person’s mental characteristics, like emotional state, intelligence, and behavior. Development is responsible for enhancing a person’s personality.


Main Differences Between Growth and Development

  1. Growth is a measurable parameter in a person, whereas development can be qualitative and quantitative.
  2. Growth generally refers to a person’s physical changes, such as height or weight. At the same time, development refers to the overall changes in a person’s personality, intelligence, and skills.
  3. Growth is an external change and can be noticed easily since it changes a person’s physical appearance. Whereas development is an internal change, and hence to see it, one must go through a thorough evaluation for a while.
  4. Growth is a biological change in a person’s body; therefore, it depends a lot on the parental genes and the nutrition a person is getting. In contrast, development depends on a person’s organizational conversion and living environment.
  5. Growth does not continue throughout the life of a person. It eventually stops at a certain age, whereas development continues throughout a person’s life.
  6. Growth affects a person’s physical appearance, while development affects mental characteristics such as emotional state, intelligence, skills, character, personality, etc.
Difference Between Growth and Development
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