What are the consequences of uneven development?
Uneven development leads to inequality of wealth and health within a country and international migration.
In all societies, the wealth of a nation is not equally distributed. This is the same for the quality of life. In some LICs and NEEs, this inequality has worsened. Nigeria has recently moved from LIC to NEE status. This is the result of wealth gained from trading. However, this wealth is not evenly distributed, in fact, Nigeria has one of the most uneven distributions of wealth on Earth. This difference is best illustrated using the Gini coefficient. It is a ratio with values between 0 and 100. A country with a Gini coefficient of 0 would mean that everyone would have the same income. A country with a Gini coefficient of 100 would mean that the income was controlled by only one person. The Gini coefficient for Nigeria is 48.8 compared to Finland, which has the lowest Gini coefficient of 21.5.
Another outcome of uneven development is that many LICs are now dependent on HICs and some NEEs for aid. Many LICs are heavily in debt due to borrowing money from the World Bank to pay for hospitals and healthcare and large-scale projects such as building dams and reservoirs. Despite borrowing money to improve healthcare, the 2014-15 Ebola outbreak exposed the poor quality healthcare infrastructure in countries such as Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Low income and civil war have left health services underfunded and unable to meet the needs of the people.
Uneven development leads to people migrating. This can be voluntary migration, where people search for a better life (pull factors). People who do this are known as economic migrants. Others are forced to move as a result of natural disasters or wars. These people are referred to as refugees.
Internation migration (moving from one country to another) was highest in 2015. This was the result of conflict and poverty. In addition to this, people become more aware of the development gap between LICs and NEEs and HICs people are attracted by the potential economic opportunities available to them. The growth in the use of mobile technologies, particularly in Africa, has led to greater global awareness amongst the population.
It is highly likely that you will have seen scenes showing African migrants trying to reach Europe by boat. Many thousands of people died trying to reach the continent.
The UK receives migrants from various countries, both within the EU and from outside. Often these migrants are highly educated and/or skilled. This leaves to a brain drain in the country where they were trained and educated. On the other hand, these migrants send money home to their families (remittances).
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