Developing countries are generally defined as those nations that have a lower average Human Development Index (HDI) than developed nations. This definition is somewhat disputed. There is also very little agreement as to what countries fall into this classification. Some countries such as Brazil, India, and China are considered to be “developing” in the technical sense but are not formally classified as such by international bodies. Others such as Tanzania, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are classified as “developing” countries.
When developing countries are compared with developed countries, it is important to consider the size of the economy. Countries such as Brazil, India, and China are large enough to be considered developing in terms of GDP but small enough that they are not considered as such by most international organizations. Many countries such as Russia, Mexico, and Indonesia are classified as developing countries because they have relatively higher HDI than developed nations. It is important to note, however, that many of these countries have a population density comparable to countries like the United States or Japan. In other words, they are urbanized to the point where they may be considered developed even though they have a large amount of rural population. Countries such as these will still have a significant amount of poverty even if they have a high HDI, so they are not actually as “developed” as one would assume.
In addition to being categorized by size, developing countries are also categorized by wealth. This wealth is determined by using a number of different factors such as the percentage of the population that has access to running water, the level of education that the population is able to achieve, the percentage of people who own a car, and the standard of living of the population as a whole. Although developed countries have a large amount of the population, they do not have the largest amount of wealth in the world. This means that they are not considered developing. However, it should be noted that developed countries are also not excluded from this classification as well; there are also countries such as Bolivia, Venezuela, and the Democratic Republic of Congo that have a large amount of both developed and developing populations.