The study of economics and growth in Geography is fundamentally about uneven development: a core-periphery global divide, sometimes referred to as the Global South and Global North or Third World and First World. The rich countries, or those located in the Global North/First World, are expected to have higher incomes that provide residents with greater access to better living conditions, health care and education. However, this representation can be misleading as articulated in the case studies. Figure might be telling us about a minority of rich people in a country in the Global South or neglecting very little on poor populations living in the Global North.
Economic development is often measured by a country’s gross domestic product (GDP), gross national income (GNI) and purchasing power parity (PPP). For additional economic measurement tools, visit the resource section of this chapter. There are other indicators and tools available to measure standards of living, one of which is the quality-of-life (QOL) survey.