Comparing levels of development

During the past few weeks in Individuals and Societies, we have been working on our new unit: What is progress? In this unit, we’ll learn which countries are more developed and which ones are not. We used gap minder to find out two countries(MEDC/LEDC) of our choice. The following indicators show the comparison of Norway and Sierra Leone.

  • Birth rate: The first graph; birth rate(population of births) is the total number of births per 1,000 of a population in a year. I found out that by the end of 2013, Sierra Leone had 38 births per 1,000 and a life expectancy of 46 years. But Norway had 12 births and a life expectancy of 82 years. One thing that concerns me is if there were more older people in a country, there are less younger people working.

    Birth rates

  • Population growth: Population growth is the number of how much people increase in a country. You can clearly see that there is a big gap between both countries during the 1990s. This is because of the Civil War that had occurred in Sierra Leone. Many children were involved in the war, leaving hundreds of deaths. The Civil War ended in january 18th of 2002. This made the countries population increase and by the end of 2011, it is as same as Norway.

    Population growth

  • Infant Mortality Rate: Infant Mortality Rate is the total numbers of 0-5 children dying. The graph shows the infant mortality rate for Norway is higher than hundred. However, the data for Sierra Leone starts from 1950. This means that the numbers of children dying was over three hundred. But towards 2011, both of the countries; especially Norway, decreases their infant mortality rate.

    Infant Mortality Rate

  • GDP per capita: The more wealthy a country is, the more economically developed. Therefore, if a country is more economically developed, they can provide education, health care, and other resources. Although, in order to gain them, a country needs to increase it’s GDP per capita.
    The first thing I noticed was during the 1800s, the life expectancy in Norway went down to 27 years. This is because in 1814, the Swedish-Norweigian War took place. The result was Norway entering union with Sweden. But after the war, the income per person increased to $40, 000(one of the highest countries)as well as the life expectancy(oldest). In this situation, even though the life expectancy decreases, the income per person kept expanding.
    On the other hand, the GDP for Sierra Leone did not increase until late 1940s. However, when I thought the country was going to develop more, there was a big change. The income per person went down to $400 but eventually came across t0 $1000.

    GDP per capita

  • Human Development Index (HDI): HDI measures how much a country has achieved economically and socially. In 2011, Norway was the world’s most developed country(0.943) leaving Sierra Leone as the least developed country(0.336).


  • Fertility rate: Fertility rate is the total children per women in a country. In the graph, its shows that Norway wasn’t very stable. This is because in that time, Norway wasn’t as developed as it is now. But as it came towards 2011, Norway had less children per women which made the country at the top of the chart. Sierra Leone also has a big change.

    Fertility rate

  • Life expectancy: The life expectancy measures the average of how long people live in a country. What I explained earlier, the life expectancy of Norway increases as the income per person gets bigger. This means that there are more older people than younger generations. This is because the more wealthy a country is, the more energy you could provide which make you live longer. In 1918, the influenza strikes leaving Sierra Leone’s life expectancy to 12 years.

    Life expectancy

  • Literacy Rate: Literacy rate is how much people in a country has the ability to read, write, spell, listen, and speak. The graph shows the literacy rate of the adults(total) in both countries. The indicator didn’t show the literacy rate of Norway. But according to this website , it said 100%(probably higher). The indicator didn’t start until late 2000. Maybe because the country hasn’t made a big change before that. What I found out was that the more educated you are, the more jobs you’ll get which leads to wealth.Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 7.00.16 PM
  • Development: In conclusion, I’ll explain the overall development of the indicators in both of the countries. After researching the different data above, it is clear that Norway is a MEDC(more economically developed country) and Sierra Leone is a LEDC(less economically developed country). However, towards 2011, Sierra Leone starts to improve more. Comparing Sierra Leone to Norway, they have a very different environment. Since the environment in Sierra Leone isn’t sanitised,  a lot of disease’s develop from the country.

2 thoughts on “Comparing levels of development

  1. I think that you showed very good understanding of all the indicators. I like that you explained why there were decreases in the population, and shared your thoughts. However, the indicator for infant mortality on the graph was wrong (it showed child mortality instead), this caused some confusion. Overall, I think this was a good analysis of the countries development.

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