An Increasing Development Gap Between the First and Third World Countries


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Uneven development can be described as different economic levels and living standards due to cultural and political factors between competitive countries worldwide. As we all know today, the United States and China are in the race for competitive technology-based inventions and they are both in fact in the highest levels of economic success. However, those less developed countries known as Third world countries experience a completely different economy related condition and living standards.

There is no doubt a huge gap between the wealthier and less wealthy countries, and there is a variety of reasons for that. The standard living experienced in first and third world countries is different. From living conditions to industrialization, to agriculture, and most important access to resources. First world countries are considered post-industrial societies meaning they have service-based economies while third world countries are non-industrial societies where there are no industrial manufacturing developments. According to the textbook, “Human Geography Places & Religions in Global Text” it states that the highest levels of economic development are found in Northern latitudes which include countries such as North America, Canada, and Japan (Knox & Marston, 2015). The lowest countries were Congo, C.A.R, Chad, Niger, Mali etc. The gap between first and third world countries continues to get wider. Wealth is a part of this gap since first world countries have the money for all resources they need. Resources play a big role in this gap as well. First world countries have access to a variety of resources while LDC’s lack in getting the resources they may need. Agricultural societies have beneficial results in economic development in mainly first world countries. Cultivable land refers to agriculture society which has a big effect economic development. In the textbook, “Human Geography Places & Religions in Global Text”, it shows how cultivable land is spread out unevenly worldwide countries and only concentrated in countries such as Europe, Eastern North America, Latin America, India, Eastern China due to the soil and land conditions (Knox & Marston, 2015). Agriculture is an affect economic indicator leading to jobs and economic development with more trade and manufacturing products. In some third world countries, there are acceptable conditions for agricultural development however, many lack the necessary resources. In other countries, there may be too wet such as forest like or too dry dessert like conditions which won’t allow agriculture development to be successful.

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Although third world countries’ population rates outweigh first world countries, their poverty rates are the highest. According to “The Penguin State of the World Atlas, “Countries living on less than $2 a day include Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi, Ethiopia, Congo, Car, Chad, Mali, Niger, and Nigeria, Uzbekistan, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh (Smith, 2012). As we can see, these are all third world countries, with high population rates. Countries such as India with population of 1.225 million people with an annual percentage rate of 1.0% -1.9%. Countries mainly in Africa with a population of 1.2 billion including Malawi, Uganda, Benin, Niger, Liberia, and Mali have an annual percentage of 3.0% or more. As well as other countries of 3.0% or more such as Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Singapore, and Yemen (Smith, 2012). With high rates of population, comes with needs for resources. In first world countries, for example The United States we have access to education, jobs, sanitation, health care etc. In mostly all third world countries especially Africa and India, they lack in all these indicators. In the article “Sanitation and Stunting in India Undernutrition’s Blind Spot,” is states that Stunting which is an indicator of chronic bad nutrition which reflects on young Indian children. India showed that 48% of children under the age of five are “stunted” (Chambers & Medeazza, p 1, 2013). This article also states that due to 53% of India’s population being out in the open, children are exposed to variety of transmitted infections (Chambers & Medeazza, 2013). Lack of sanitation and health care causes these young children to be exposed to all sort of diseases and even pass at a very young age. While children in the United States, especially with wealthier families have access to all the health care they may require. For example, children with diseases in the United States can be taken to the emergency room, Urgent Care, or different facilities that have fast health services and get treatment as soon as they can. While children in third world countries, may not even have enough money to get to nearby health services. In addition, with less hospitals and less Doctors in third world countries, trying to treat population of millions may slow down the treatment processes for individuals and may not even keep up with every single person. For those with serious diseases infections that may not be treatable, many cannot afford to get the treatment so in consequences, they end up dying. Education is another important indicator that third world countries lack in. For example, sanitation can always be taught in schools especially as a young age; however, many children in Africa do not even have access to education. They are taught what they know at home. Children in India are taught to start cleaning and doing chores rather than going to school. Some states in America, have competitive workforce, and as can anticipate that it’s much worse in third world countries.

Third world countries may have experience years of poverty, but that started to change in certain countries. In a news casting video, “How China is Investing Billions into Africa,” interview with Jenni Marsh, Digital Producer, states how Ethiopia is where billions of China’s investments are going to. There have been many new infrastructure developments in Ethiopia as well as new technology called Tecno. Tecno is considered a smart phone for Africans to use and take selfies which they believe has the best quality for them. With new developments such as Tecno, this created many jobs for people in Ethiopia. China really looked at Africa’s consumers which provided them what they believed would sell and be profitable. The question on whether Ethiopia may be in the lift out of poverty still stands, and Marsh states that it may be too early to tell. In my opinion, I think this may be the first step. Just by having this one technology development has changed one place dramatically, so if this continues and China or even other countries take their time to invest in Africa, many new changes and good outcomes will rise. In another video “Closing the Gap China-Africa ties: How China is transforming Africa smartphone market,” states how China is starting to take their time and investing in Africa. They are giving consumers exactly what they want. These new smartphones are attracting attention all over social media. A young college student was interviewed, and she stated how they are not able to afford as many things as they want, and this new Chinese made phone is affordable and made a big change in her social media life (CNBC Africa, 2018). If other countries took their time and started thinking the way China is today, they would be helping all third world countries and benefiting themselves as well. Remind you, these news casting videos were both made in the year of 2018, which is very recent. China’s lead into investments in Africa can be the next big thing.

There are so many ideas that can be promoted in order to close this huge gap between these countries. Everything costs money and investment is always required in proposals that can work. In certain places in Africa, agriculture may work for weather like conditions. This may require a lot of time and preparation, but they would need new sanitation developments to keep all fields clean and disease free. If this ever where to happen, they can start their own trade and profits from manufacturing their own goods. First world countries like to take control and power over underestimated countries which would be a better reason to develop new things that first world countries want to invest in to become the first to be a part of. I believe that Africa can be a great place to experience new economic development just for their own communities and societies in order to develop employment opportunities and education. If Africa can get these opportunities, it would start filling that gap and over the years these opportunities can spread to other third world countries so that gap can eventually disappear.

For years the economic gap between first and third world countries tends to be getting bigger and bigger; However, as mentioned new investments are starting to be made in less developed countries. If these investments continue for the next couple years, I believe that there will be many changes and hopefully leading those third world countries out of poverty. Even though these countries may never development half of what first world countries have, we they at least create industrialization to fir their economic and social needs.

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