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Poverty is not only measured by income, there are many
indicators such as life expectancy, fertility, undernourishment, Population
growth, and contraception, which have all been measured in countries such as
Bangladesh, china, Tunisia, Sweden, USA, Congo, Iran, Japan, Cameroon, and
Cuba. The aim of this essay is to reach an understanding of poverty across the
world by comparing 10 countries and examining each of the indicators. This
report will allow the reader to gain a wider understanding of what poverty truly
consists of and gives an insight of how reliable and accurate Indicators are to
interpret poverty accurately.

poverty it is vital to study indicators such as population
growth, contraception, undernourishment, fertility and life expectancy. It is
essential to decipher the whether indicators are reliable enough to measure
development and poverty within a county. Examining indicators that explain the
poverty and development rates of countries like USA, Sweden, Tunisia, China,
Japan, Bangladesh, Congo, Cameroon, Iran and Cuba will give a broad conception
of poverty across the globe.

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Aims and Objectives:                                                                                                             

•             To
compare our intuitive ranking and final ranking.

•             To
understand whether GDP is a good indicator.

•             State any
anomalies that have been discovered.

•             Recognize
what leads to poverty.

•             Identify
how reliable the indicators are in showing the level of poverty and development
across the globe.



Studies have found “that the poor have less access to
information or fewer of the physical and human capital assets needed to take
advantage of the windows of opportunity afforded by such changes” (Birdsall,
Kelley and Sinding, 2001). To further explore this issue of poverty                                                                                                          
continent which would result in a narrow understanding of what poverty

The method used to reach our finding was that we selected
the countries and indicators that we wanted to analyse, which were selected
from the documents and date provided by the module leader. After this stage we
had a go at the initiative ranking then worked out the average ranking and
finally the final ranking. After this process we had the chance to compare our
initial judgements with the final ranking. This data was added to a table which
was also provided by the module leader.     

Firstly life expectancy in countries like Japan is the
highest with a value of 82.3years, compared to the lowest life expectancy rate
of 45.8years in Congo (Data provided by the module leader). This data shows
that the more developed a country is the more likely it is to have a higher
life expectancy, as Congo is nowhere near as developed as Japan has nearly
double the life expectancy of Congo. Life expectancy can be affected by poor
sanitation and disease. Congo has some of the most serious health problems many
of which are incurable, the top causes of death are HIV/AIDS, stroke, Coronary
Heart Disease, Influenza and Pneumonia, Diarrhoeal diseases
( One of many reasons why Congo has a low life
expectancy is due to the poor sanitation and lack of clean water, as less than
a quarter of the population of Congo has access to these facilities
(  As well as this
“an estimated 70 per cent of Congolese have little or no access to health care”
( Comparing this to Japan where boys and girls are expected to
live up to the age of 73 without experiencing any major life threatening
illness or disability ( Also a study found that “a three-member
Japanese family used 280.7 litres a day” ( These
findings show the level of poverty across the world and highlights how deprived
some countries such as Congo over others such as Japan. Therefore if sanitation
is improved and diseases are prevented, life expectancy would improve greatly
in countries similar to Congo. The life expectancy indicator reveals the level
of poverty and underdevelopment in countries across the globe as the poor
countries hit by poverty are not immune from diseases and do not have good

Life expectancy further affects fertility rates hence 10
countries are analysed in this report. Japan has the lowest fertility rate
which was the value of 1.3 and in comparison Congo has the highest with the
value of 6.7 (Data provided by the module leader). Fertility in japan has been
declining since 1947, due to the educational opportunities available and the
increasing change in gender roles. This has led to a decline in marriage and
women wanting to pursue a career for better chances of success and employment
rather than traditionally settling and having a family ( In
Contrast statistics have shown 7.3 million populations of children in Congo of
which 3.8million girls do not attend school ( Due to the lack
of funds, opportunity and money available to go to school, girls are
traditional unable to get educated. This leads to the increasing rate early age
pregnancy and miscarriages. Arguably this is due to the amount poverty within
the country, as people in deprived countries rely on their children to provide
and help the family survive. Fertility rate can be seen as a dependable
indicator as it provides an understanding the level of poverty and its effect
on families and specifically women who bare children.

Contraception is directly connected with fertility
consequently why Contraception is a reliable indicator, as it helps define the
levels of development and poverty. China has the highest use of contraception
compared to Cameroon which has the lowest use of contraception (Data provided
by module leader). There are many reasons why a country like China has a high
level of contraception, one of the reasons being the two child policy, which
was set up because of the overpopulation in china. Figures have recorded that
china has the highest population than other countries ( Data
shows “In Cameroon, 63% of women who want to avoid pregnancy do not use a
modern method of contraception” ( This is due to the lack
of availability of products such as contraception pills as people are unable to
afford such treatments. This indicates that countries like Cameroon who are
less developed than countries like China are unable to gain access to
contraception and therefore the richer countries have more access to

The Lower the contraception rates the higher the population
growth rate  as evident in  developing 
countries like Congo, Iran, Bangladesh and Cameroon and the highest use
of contraception is in countries like Sweden, Japan, USA and China. (Data
provided by module leader). Many causes of population growth in developing
countries are the lack of education on contraception and limited family
planning services. Also families rely on children for labour and to bring
income home ( This can also affect the economic state of
a country as rapid population growth makes it harder to provide food and
shelter for all the people within the country ( Population growth
is a reliable indicator which helps define the level of poverty and development
across the globe.

Undernourishment can be the result of high population
growth. It is a significant indicator of poverty and underdevelopment as some
of the poorest 3rd world countries such as Cuba, Bangladesh, Cameroon and Congo
are momentously affected by undernourishment. This paralleled with the richer
first world countries such as USA, Sweden and Japan that have far less levels
of undernourishment. (Data provided by the module leader). Inadequate food and
water supplies increases the problem of undernourishment and malnutrition.
Undernourishment and malnutrition in turn further affects the social and
economic state of the country. The population is unable to reach their fullest potential
for example children will not be able to succeed in school affecting their
chances of getting a stable job, as well as this undernourished adults will be
unable to work and provide for their families                                                
                            ( It is also argued that
undernourishment is present today not because of shortages rather because of
inequality. As statistics show that there is enough food to feed 7billion
people alive today ( .This clarifies that richer countries are
far more established and are able to supply more food to the population than
the poorer countries such as Bangladesh, Cameroon, and Congo.                                                                                                                 

GDP is an accurate indicator for poverty, while comparing
the GDP of the countries, Congo’s GDP value of 714 a lot lower than Japans
value GDP which is 31267 (Data provided by module leader). Congo’s economy has
been affected by instability and violence putting the population into further
poverty (
Comparing this to Japan where consumer spending and domestic activity grew
significantly (
GDP is reliable indicator that shows the level of poverty as it is clear that
countries with lower GDP have higher poverty rates, whereas countries with
higher GDP have lower levels of poverty.

Poverty and development can clearly be understood by the
indicators mentioned in this report. Life expectancy, Fertility,
Undernourishment, Population growth rate, Contraception, and GDP help
understand the level of poverty therefore are reliable. The highest rate
countries where compared and analysed with the lowest rate countries for
example Japan and Congo. It is clear that countries with low life expectancy
need improvements in areas such as sanitation and diseases. Further to resolve
the issues of poverty contraception, fertility, undernourishment, population
growth, countries needs to provide better family planning services, equality
and education amongst the people within the country. 

10 countries from all over the globe within the report are
discussed which include, USA, Sweden, Tunisia, China, Japan, Bangladesh, Congo,
Cameroon, Iran and Cuba. The countries were selected on the basis of
differentiation and attaining a wider understanding of what poverty is like
across the world. This idea was preferred over choosing countries that were
only within one region or


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