Broadly speaking, the countries of the world are divided into under-developed and developed countries. Under – developed countries are characterized by low output, capital and investment, excessive population growth, agricultural dependence and un-utilisation or underutilization of natural resources. On the other hand, developed countries are those whose per capital real income, technical knowledge and capital stock are very high. According to the U.N . Experts opinion, developed countries are those whose annual per capita income is US $12475 in 2015. America, Australia, Canada and some West European countries are examples of developed countries.
Characteristics of developed countries
1. Importance of non-agricultural sectors : In developed countries, non-agricultural sectors contribute major portion of the national income. Agriculture contributes percentage to the national income of these countries. For example the contribution of agriculture in America is just 2% of its national income. People in these countries are employed in sectors other than agriculture. For example 40% of the laborers in England and 35% of the laborers in America earn their livelihood from non agricultural sectors.
2. Large capital stock: The rate of growth in the capital stock and capital accumulation in developed countries is very large. Capital stock depends on the investment and savings of the people. The rate of investment in these countries lie in between 20% to 30% of the gross national income. Capital stock is very large in these countries due to several reasons like (a) higher per capita income (b) existence of savings institutions like banks, investment agencies and insurance companies (c) large numbs of entrepreneurs (d) peoples willingness and ability to save.
3. Superior technology: Developed countries are described technologically advanced countries. The level of technology is very superior. Due to this all the available human, natural and financial resources are availed with great care and caution for productive purposes. Even though resources are scarce in some advanced countries, such a problem could be overcome by inventing alternative techniques for exploiting the existing resources to their optimum extent. All of us knew how Japan achieved economic development and attained economic growth inspire of the scarcity of resources.
4. Favorable atmosphere : The social institutions, caste system and People’s attitudes are favorable for achieving and maintaining economic growth in these countries. The standard of living is high. People show more interest for securing economic gains. Efficiency and mobilization of labor are very big. Entrepreneurs make innovations,take,risk and bear uncertainty in business affairs.
5. Slow rate of population growth : The rate of growth of population is slow in developed countries. The rate of capital exceeds the rate of population growth. As a result the per capita income in these countries is very high. People favor and follow welfare schemes for leading a decent life. Both birth and death rates are low. Availability of medical and health facilities improve and increase the life span of the people.
6. More leisure : The duration of working hours is less. So people spend their leisure for promoting their mental and cultural values.
7. Services sector: Due to the development of technology the number of men needed for production of goods is very less. As a result, most of the people become doctors, teachers and other servicemen. So people get the help of these servicemen.