Why some countries are underdeveloped

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Every human being wants an easier life. They want easy access to the objects of their desires and needs. Alas, not everyone has this privilege. In fact, the most part of the general world population does not have access to a quality life. Underdevelopment is a state of low economic development of a country. The less developed a country is, the lower will be the quality of life of its people. 

Underdevelopment is a condition characterized by low standard of living, low per capita-income (low income per head), poverty, inadequate infrastructures, unemployment, and high cost of living. Underdeveloped countries are also known as third world countries, and they include most African countries, Asian countries, and South America. Some common causes of underdevelopment include

Exportation of valuable resources

A country may lose some of its valuable resources to another country for several reasons. If the home country lacks the required technology to turn its raw materials into quality finished products, she may decide to export these raw materials in exchange for some monetary return, rather than having these raw materials lay dormant and wasted. The disadvantage here is that so much revenue could have been realized from these raw materials if they were processed into quality products and exported to other countries. 

Resources are not only limited to raw materials, but also include human capital (i.e. people). When life seems uncomfortable and perhaps difficult to cope with in a poor and sulfurous economy, people tend to drift towards richer and more satisfying economy, which therefore gives rise to emigration from the poor country to a richer country. Under-development of a country remains the greatest reason why most people emigrate from their country to live permanently in other countries; legally or illegally.

Emigration of people from their countries to wealthier countries is one factor that contributes to the spiral ruin of their fatherland; although, it may have a highly beneficial effect on the people that have decided to emigrate. The cleverest minds may find themselves migrate to countries with richer and much better economy, in search for greener pastures. And since these people desire to improve their standard of living, their exceptional and highly valuable abilities are consequently used to develop the economy of these wealthy nations they have emigrated to, as they work to make ends meet. This has a positive effect on the economies of foreign countries and a negative effect on their home countries; since these people are supposed to be developing their own economies.


One major cause of underdevelopment in third world countries is corruption. Most people in underdeveloped countries have a low standard of living, and a strong desire to escape the trappings and corrosiveness of poverty. They hate that they live in poverty and have an almost overpowering hankering for financial security. In an effort to achieve their security and financial goals, many people are willing to become fraudulent, act unethically, and compromise their personal values. Their unethical actions may appear to solve their insecurity problems, but these consequently affect the general economy. The national economy suffers, although fraudulent people seem to be improving their lives. But as long as they continue to abide in the same economy, they are not shielded from the harsh weather that torments the rest of the people; the problems of underdevelopment.

Greed and Ignorance

Political leaders who have the chance to misappropriate national funds and get away with it are more likely to take advantage of such opportunity since they want to increase their standard of living. And no matter how rich they become, they continue to acquire more illegal wealth because it’s never enough for them. 

In satisfying their greed for financial gain, the national fund, which has been accumulated from the payment of tax, tariffs, and fines, and the revenues gotten from the management of government-owned businesses, is used up in extravagant spending, especially in acquiring foreign goods.

Some of these money are saved in foreign banks or buried somewhere, both of which are detrimental to the economy of the underdeveloped countries. The act of acquiring far more foreign goods than selling homemade goods to foreign countries, saving misappropriated funds in foreign banks, and stashing embezzled money in some hidden place contribute to the impoverishment of a nation. As more foreign goods are being imported and little to no domestic goods exported, foreign countries grow richer, while the poorer countries grow poorer.

Funds which ought to be used to develop small and medium enterprises, to invest in science and technology, to develop public infrastructures (such as power supply, good roads, pipe-borne water etc.) and to provide loans for prospective entrepreneurs are cruelly misappropriated by rapacious political leaders, whose sole desire is to satisfy their insatiable want for financial security through financial gain, at the expense of the security and wellbeing of the masses.

Colonialism and Neo-colonialism

Other major reasons some countries are underdeveloped are colonialism and neocolonialism. Colonialism is exploitation by a richer and stronger country of a poorer and weaker country, in an effort to enrich the stronger country and impoverish the poorer country, while having political power over the resources of the weaker country. It is the use of the resources of the weaker countries, by the stronger country, to improve the economy of the stronger country. Countries with rich and buoyant economies want to be richer, and one essential way to achieve this is by exploiting the factors of production (land, labour, material resources, capital) of poorer countries. These seemingly powerful countries need underdeveloped countries to be endlessly dependent on their commodities and aids in order to continue reaping them off. And one way the powerful countries achieve this is by making it difficult or almost impossible for the poorer nations to achieve economic independence via technological development. It is therefore true that for there to be the upper class, there must exist a lower class, whose existence to the upper class only serves to make them richer. This kind of relationship has always existed for centuries.