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Why are some countries richer then others?

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  • Pages: 7
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  • Category: Education

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In today’s society, money is more consequential than ever. There are more billionaires today then ever before. However the reality is that most of the world still lives in complete poverty; an estimated 40% of the world still lives on less then 2$ a day {1 (January 2013 Written by Anup Shah)} and almost 75% of children world wide do not get secondary level education. However 200years ago, the average income around the world was almost the exact same. Purpose, method and scope

The purpose of this report is to explain what happened in the last 200years to increase the world per capital income to 800% and create such a huge gap between the rich and the poor. In order to find out why there is such a huge gap between these countries we must assess certain factors: a countries social status, historical information, economical statistics, environmental status, political status and technological status.

A countries social status is very important in the countries value. In highly developed countries such as Australia the mortality rates are very low and over 95% of children can expect to live past the age of 5, where as in countries such as Bangladesh only 59% of children can expect to live past the age of 5{14 (2013 Written by UN)}. Gender Equality

Education is one of the most fundamental aspects of a successful country, for example in Australia almost 100% of children get some sort of primary education and over 75% complete a secondary education. This gives them the necessary skills to create jobs for themselves and others and contribute to their country. However if education levels are poor, as seen in Bangladesh with only 78% of students finishing primary school and a far less 40% completing secondary school. They do not end up with the necessary skills needed to find jobs for themselves and can not support themselves or their country in the future.

Historical events are very important to a countries current situation. Did the country go to war? Were there any corrupt past leaders? Are there any laws in the past that are detrimental in todays society? Was the country ruled and oppressed by another? A countries historical events can be the biggest factor in its overall wealth today.

Countries like Australia have a relatively good historical background. They were involved in major wars but the countries land was never attacked. Australia also had a lot of support from the British Empire and was always a close ally to what was then the most powerful empire in the world. Bangladesh was also once ruled by the British Empire, however they did not receive the same treatment Australia had received; it was only shorty after World War 2 they were given independence. The British had oppressed Bangladesh (Then part of British India) and did not give them the same education, living standards and jobs as the Australians received. This part of history has a clear flow on affect till today, many people in Bangladesh still do not have basic education or good living standards and many are still unemployed.

The economical strength of a country is one of the main indicators of its living standards. Usually a country with a higher GDP per capita will have better standards of living. A country with a poor economy will have poor standards of living and will usually have a much lower GDP per capita and a very poor wealth/income distribution.


Trade relations are very important in today’s global market. Good trading relations can help countries sustain good relations with other nations. Trade is necessary in today’s consumerist driven world, with trade you can purchase products that your country is not able to produce and create wealth by selling what your country can produce. However today there is a lot of competition in our consumerist society, people are trying harder than ever to produce goods at cheaper prices. Bangladesh is a good example of the negative effects of globalized trade. Millions of people are employed in manufacturing industries to make cheap clothes to be exported to places such as Australia, the UK and America. To help lower prices and reduce competition the workers are paid very low wages to keep prices low. However well developed countries such as Australia generally benefit from trade. Australia trades lots of natural resources with other countries and provides most of the wool and cotton needed to manufactures clothing. -Wealth Distribution

In Bangladesh the richest 10% of the population holds nearly 25% of the countries wealth. Where as the lowest 10% only has 4% of the countries GDP. GDP
A countries GDP is an estimated value of the countries total wealth. Bangladesh’s GDP is 115billion dollars compared to Australia’s 1,500billion dollars. Bangladesh also has a population over 7 times greater than Australia’s. As a result their GDP per capita is much lower; meaning that overall their population is very poor.

Environmental issues
Environmental issues are present across the world, however developed nations have the power to combat these issues and create solutions to some of our biggest problems today such as deforestation and poor air quality. -Natural resources

A country can create a lot of wealth out of natural resources, for example Australia has bountiful natural resources ranging from gold to coal. However less developed nations such as Bangladesh do not have access to such luxuries.

Australia has an immense amount of natural resources. Mining these natural resources can create many jobs as well; an estimated 16% of Australia’s workforce is employed in the mining industry. {4 (ABC News September 2011 Written by Larissa Waters} However many poor nations such as Bangladesh have very little to no natural resources at all, meaning they do not have the ability to create as many jobs and they can not make money by exporting these resources to other countries or to use the natural resources for their own needs.

A countries decisions and future is decided upon by politicians. If a countries political system is corrupt or is under a dictatorship then it is very unlikely that the country will be able to make the correct decisions to improve peoples lifestyles and keep them moving forward. However countries such as Australia have a democratic parliament meaning the people have control over who the president/prime minister is, this can stop poor political leaders from oppressing others members of parliament and also stop corrupt politicians from suppressing a country. For example Bangladesh was once ruled and oppressed by the British Empire [11 (May2014)]. Bangladeshi people were not given the same rights as Caucasians and were not allowed to work, visit and live in certain places.

-Corrupt leaders
Political corruption isn’t just about election rigging. It can cause politicians in power to steer away from forming a good government. Their decisions can benefit those who fund them. The public interest comes second. Political corruption can divert scarce resources from poor and disadvantaged people. This is especially common in countries where democratic institutions are weak or absent. For example, Bangladesh has had a continuing problem with corruption with the country being ranked the most corrupt country in the world in 2005 by Transparency International. {13 (2005)} The country has a long list of corrupt leaders and parties who were power hungry and money driven. As a result Bangladesh doesn’t have the political stability as other developed nations such as Australia.

-Impact of religion
Theocracy is present in many under developed nations. Theocracy is when religious laws take over parliament and become the major laws. Bangladesh is an example of a country with theocracy. Even today Bangladesh is still struggling to develop a proper democratic system because of constant theocracy. Many efforts at modernization of the political system failed because they were perceived as a threat to core religious values and institutions [7 (May 2014)].

Technology helps a country advance by increasing ease of life and helps people do complex and difficult tasks in a shorter amount of time. Advanced technological countries also have better healthcare and Medicine; this can create more jobs in the medicine field, keep more people in jobs and also help people who are very sick and save more lives.

Well-developed countries such as Australia have easy access to the latest technology and medicines. This creates job for the country and helps people recover from diseases, which they may not be able to in other countries.

This report has identified some major factors of a countries wealth. We can see how a countries wealth can be affected by social, historical, economical, environmental, political and technological factors. We can also see how each factor, also affects other factors. We can see how a country can be greatly affected by high mortality rates and low levels of education can be detrimental to a nation. We can also see how poor trade relations and wealth distribution can affect a countries value and GDP. Also shown in the report is how environmental issues can affect a countries health and how corrupt politicians can ruin a nation as well as how technological advancements can help a country create jobs, ease work and save lives.


1. http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats 2.
http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/bangladesh/income-distribution 3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondary_education#Australia 4.http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2876728.html

8.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_religion_in_Bangladesh 9.https://www.google.com.au/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=irSOU5-OBMzC8gfhtYD4BQ&gws_rd=ssl#q=Bangladesh+GDP+Australia+GDP 10.https://www.google.com.au/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=irSOU5-OBMzC8gfhtYD4BQ&gws_rd=ssl#q=Bangladesh+GDP 11.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Bangladesh 12.http://www.indexmundi.com/bangladesh/natural_resources.html 13. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4353334.stm

14. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SH.DYN.MORT

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