Watch the video below and describe the nature of the disparities it shows.

What is development?

Measurements of Disparities.

Single Index Measurements

Definitions: Economic Measures

Living on less info graphic
Living on Less info graphic. Click on the image to find out more.

Development: An improvement in the quality of life. Although wealth comes into this, many other things are also important like health, education and security.

Indices: An arrangement of material or figures in a numerical order. We can use indices to compare countries. Indices can be useful because organisations and governments can use them to decided where investment and improvements are most needed. For example if a country has very higher birth rates, then the government may need to invest in family planning.

Gross domestic product (GDP): The total value of all goods and services produced domestically (inside a country) by a nation during a year.

Gross national product (GNP): The total market value of all goods and services produced by a nation in a year. It also includes the value of goods and services produced overseas.

Gross national income (GNI): The total value of good and services produced within a country together with the balance of income and payments from or to other countries. GNI is increasingly become the preferred monetary indicator.

Balance of trade: The difference between visible (physical) e.g. cars, TVs and books imports and exports.

Balance of payments: The same as balance of trade but also includes invisible exports and imports e.g. banking, insurance and remittances.

If a country has a balance of payments deficit i.e. the value of imports is greater than the value of exports then we sometimes say that the country is in the red. If a country has surplus we sometimes describe that country as being in the black.

Monetary: Relating to financial or money (currency) matters.

A Quarter: Sometimes you will hear figures quoted for GDP in a quarter. A quarter is simply a three month period e.g. January, February and March. A year is sometimes quoted as being per annum.

(definitions from greenfieldgeography)

The Difference Between GNP, GDP and GNI.

1) Use the information from this link and other sources to explain the difference between GNP,GDP and GNI.

2) What is “purchasing power parity and why is it important to take this into account when comparing monetary measures of development.


3) Read the document above and then explain in your own words the strengths and weaknesses of using GDP as an indicator of development.


Infant Mortality: the number of deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in the same year. This rate is often used as an indicator of the level of health in a country. [Source]


Literacy Rate: There are no universal definitions and standards of literacy. Unless otherwise specified, all rates are based on the most common definition – the ability to read and write at a specified age. Information on literacy, while not a perfect measure of educational results, is probably the most easily available and valid for international comparisons. Low levels of literacy, and education in general, can impede the economic development of a country in the current rapidly changing, technology-driven world. [Source]

Education expenditure: the public expenditure on education as a percent of GDP. [Source]


Malnutrition prevalence, height for age (% of children under 5): Prevalence of child malnutrition is the percentage of children under age 5 whose height for age (stunting) is more than two standard deviations below the median for the international reference population ages 0-59 months. For children up to two years old height is measured by recumbent length. For older children height is measured by stature while standing. The data are based on the WHO’s new child growth standards released in 2006. [Source]

Composite Measurement Indicators

HDI: The Human Development Index

5) Using the image below and the link from it, describe and explain what the HDI is and how it is calculated.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of using the HDI?

HDI diagram.png

6) Click on the map below, the link takes you to the Stat Planet website where world HDI data is mapped. Use the map to describe the current variation in HDI around the world and also how this has changed since 1980. Make sure you pay special attention to your chosen five countries.

HDI Stat Planet Map.PNG

7) According to the most recent HDI information, which are the top 10 and bottom 10 countries in world. Compare these lists to the lists from 1980 and highlight any changes.

8) Could you improve the HDI? Have a go at building your own index using this website.

9) Click on the banner below and complete tasks 1-3 from the Geographypodscom section on Composite Indicators.

compositr indicators GPods banner.PNG

Alternative ways of measuring development.

Happiness: The Happy Planet Index


Colour signifies Highest rank through to lowest rank; grey indicates Information not available .


Mean Happiness Info Graphic
Click on the info graphic to find out how happy various countries are.

Click here to find out how the Happy Planet Index is Calculated.

10) To what extent is the Happy Planet index a better indicator of development than the HDI. Use examples to support your argument.

11) Statics Time: Open the spreadsheet (development indicators) & use spearman rank to test the relationship between GDP & happiness, GDP & HDI. Plot a scattergraph to see if there is a correlation between happiness and HDI.



12) Marginalisation is the social process of becoming or being made marginal (to relegate or confine to a lower social standing or outer limit or edge, as of social standing) for example “the marginalization of the underclass”. Source

Read this article and highlight the key information on the index of marginalization.

KOF Index of Globalization


The KOF Index of Globalization measures the three main dimensions of globalization:

  • economic
  • social
  • and political.

In addition to three indices measuring these dimensions, we calculate an overall index of globalization and sub-indices referring to

  • actual economic flows
  • economic restrictions
  • data on information flows
  • data on personal contact
  • and data on cultural proximity.

Data are available on a yearly basis for 208 countries over the period 1970 – 2012.

Detailed Index Information (2012)
KOF World rankings_2012
KOF variables_2012
KOF method_2012
KOF definitions_2012

When calculating the index economic globalization is weighted at 37%, social globalization at 39% and political globalization at 25% – why not a third each?
Which do you think is the ‘weakest’ data set?

Here is a chloropleth map for 2009 KOF data:

external image Screen-Shot-2012-10-11-at-10.27.08-10cyrt5-300x182.png

Click on the map to visit source site

Produce a page of revision material that explains what the KOF Index is, what it’s component parts are and the KOF values for two countries of differing levels of development – with out writing any words. It should be in the style of an infographic.
(info on KOF index taken from Nan Jing School Website)