GCSE Geography: Development - Human Factors

24th August 2017

GCSE Geography Revision - Made Easy!

Everything you need to know about Human Factors Influencing Development!


A country's social, infrastructural and political development can be both measured and influenced in different ways. Human factors such as the economy and social discontent, and physical factors such as natural hazards or climate, can influence how quickly or well a country develops.


Human factors are based on how societies originated and are built up today, how politics run throughout each country and the economic state of a particular country and how this can hold it back.


Human factors influencing development include:


  • Colonialism - This refers to the exploitation of countries through ownership of regions by other countries in the past. Many African countries were taken over by European countries hundreds of years ago, and ownership rights to things like natural resources meant that European countries benefitted hugely by taking these for themselves, but the exploited countries were left behind in terms of development.


  • Governance - Politics can lead to the success or downfall of a country. In many countries, poor governance has stunted development. This can be a result of greed and unfair distribution of wealth by those at the very top. Money can be taken by these people or redistributed into power elsewhere such as the military. This leaves those at the bottom rung of society in horrid conditions, usually struggling to feed, clothe or shelter their families.


  • Economy and Trade - LEDCs (less economically developed countries) are often the manufacturers of physical goods, including household products and agricultural products. MEDCs (more economically developed countries) are often the processors of these goods including the distribution, packaging and selling of these products. However the wealth generated by this process is not distributed evenly, rather it sees MEDCs taking a much larger share of the profits, unfairly leaving LEDCs behind in their economic development.


  • Economy and Foreign Investment - As with trade, MEDCs take a hugely unfair share of foreign investment in terms of their population to investment ratio. As stated in our accompanying music video (make sure to watch this if you haven't already), Europe takes almost half of the world's global investment (45%), yet only 7% of the world's population live there. Yet comparitively, 15% of the world's popuation live in Africa, and yet they only get just under 5% of the foreign investment.


  • Education and Healthcare - If a country has vey little wealth, or if the majority of wealth is held by those in power and not distributed, a country may struggle to afford education or good healthcare. By not investing in education, a country may struggle to develop socially or in terms of infrastructure. Without knowledge of construction techniques, safe houses and buildings cannot be built. Without education, doctors and nurses cannot keep people healthy. The list continues. Healthcare is also a development issue for many countries. Without the funds to run hospitals or pay medical staff, those that get ill usually stay ill, and cannot therefore bring in any wealth to support their families. There are also problems that come in the prevention of illness too, with only 1 in 6 people on the planet having access to safe and clean water.


Make sure to check out our music video on "Human Factors Influencing Development", remeber all the lyrics, and then take a shot at our test!


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