Professor Angela Agboli-Esedebe
Economic development in a global perspective breaks the world into three different income brackets, which are high-income countries, middle-income countries and low-income countries.
There are roughly 40 nations that make up the high-income countries, which include the United States, Canada and Western Europe. These 40 nations produce most of the world’s goods and services and account for most of the world’s wealth. The people that live in these nations live well, but interestingly enough it’s not because they are any smarter than those that live in lower income nations, but simply based on the good fortune of where they were born.
There are roughly 90 nations that make up the middle-income countries of the world, which include nations in Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America. These nations have moderately productive economies, where their citizens’ incomes are about the global average. Most of these countries have marked social inequalities, meaning there are some extremely rich members of society, but also many poor members.
There are roughly 60 nations that make up the low-income countries of the world, where half of the world’s population lives. These nations are filled with poor citizens’ and their economies are less productive than those of the other nations of the world. Citizens in these nations struggle to find housing, food and safe drinking water, and have very little chance of improving their lives.
The United States is definitely considered one of the high-income nations of the world, where we are very fortunate to live. Housing, food and medical care are abundant, even for the poor, and all children are provided free education. As I said earlier, we are fortunate to be born where we are born, and sometimes I think we forget how lucky we really are.
Macionis, J. J. (2008). SOC100: Sociology: 2009 custom edition (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.