Addressing the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on 77th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India will be a developed country by 2047. He also said that during his third term, India would become the third-largest economy. It is currently the fifth largest.
But what is a "developed country"? Let us understand
What is a developed country?
A developed country typically has a mature and sophisticated economy. These economies may not have a high growth rate currently but must have shown rapid growth in the past. Developed countries have advanced technological infrastructure and diverse industrial and service sectors. Their citizens typically enjoy access to quality health care and higher education.
How is a country considered "developed"?
Several factors are considered to determine if a country is developed or not. The economic factors include per capita income, level of industrialisation, the general standard of living and technological infrastructure.
The non-economic factor includes the human development index, which measures several parameters like levels of education, health and literacy.
Per capita income
The main benchmark that is used to determine the level of development of an economy is per capita income. It is generally derived by dividing a country's gross domestic product (GDP) by its total population. It roughly shows how much a citizen of that country is likely to earn in a year.
Some economists consider $12,000 to $15,000 per capita income to be sufficient for developed status. Others, however, consider a country to be developed if its per capita income is above $25,000 or $30,000.
According to the World Bank, India's per capita income is around $2,400. At the same time, USA's and China's per capita incomes are $76,400 and $12,700, respectively.
Standard of living and other measures
For countries that are difficult to categorise according to per capita income, economists turn to the standard of living for measurement. Most developed countries have less than ten infant deaths per year per 1,000 live births. Moreover, they have a life expectancy of over 75 years.
One such example is Qatar. It has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world at $88,000. However, it is not considered developed due to vast income inequality and a lack of educational opportunities for citizens.
Human Development Index
The United Nations' HDI ranks countries on three parameters: literacy rate, education access and healthcare. The countries are scored between 0 and 1 based on these three parameters.
A country with an HDI index over 0.8 is generally considered developed. According to the latest data, India's score is 0.633, and it stands at 132nd place out of 192 countries ranked.
Which Asian countries are "developed"?
According to the International Monetary Fund, Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, and Taiwan can be categorised as developed countries.
The list of "emerging" or developing economies includes names like China, India, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam.