World Sociology

Measuring Development

The economic health of a country is usually measured using GDP (Gross Domestic Product) or GNP (Gross National Product). Both GDP and GNP measure the amount of goods and services produced in that country’s economy over the year, but GNP also includes net income from abroad so is often viewed as a more valid measure of whether or not a country is ‘developing’.

This useful video from the BBC explains GDP and furthermore explains why individuals should be concerned about it:

Discover More Q&A: What is GDP?

The video clip points out one limitation of GDP – that the data is historical and only really tells us what has happened at the time we are living with this information and its consequences. Students could consider this limitation and others presented in these article here:

Discover More What Are the Different Problems with GDP?

After digesting all of the information, they could draw out a table that outlines and evaluates GDP as a measure of development.

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