Explain various parameters of social development?


social development



Parameters of social development


There are hundreds of economic, political and social indicators of development, ranging from ‘Hard’ economic indicators such as Gross National Income (and all its variations), to various poverty and economic inequality indicators, to the Sustainable Development Goals, which focus much more on social indicators of development such as education and health, all the way down to much more subjective development indicators such as happiness.

In this post I consider what the most useful indicators of development are for students of A level sociology, studying the excellent module in global development.

I’ve thus selected the indicators below to try and represent:


the most commonly used indicators collected by some of the major development institutions, both multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, as well as NGOS.
The indicators you need to know for the ‘indicators of development topic – most obviously GNP, the HDI and the MDGs.
Other indicators which are useful to know for different sub-topics within the global development course (health, education, gender, conflict, the environment etc…)
Taken together these indicators should provide enough breadth of measurements to gain a very good (for A level standards) insight into the level of development of a country, without resulting in information overload and mental meltdown…

Most of the above indicators below have been developed and are monitored by either the World Bank or the United Nations, but I’ve also included others, such as the Global Peace Index, which are collated by other agencies, so as to broaden out the data sou

The indicators I consider in more detail below are as follows.


Total nominal Gross Domestic Product
Gross National Income per capita (PPP)
The percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day
The percentage of people living below the poverty line within a country.
The unemployment rate.
The Human Development Index score
Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (overlaps with many other aspects)
School enrollment ratios
PISA educational achievement rankings
Percentage of population in tertiary education.
The infant mortality rate.
Healthy life expectancy
The gender inequality index
The global peace index
Total military expenditure
Carbon Dioxide emissions
The corruption index
The Happiness Index.

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