Appendix B
Defining Developing Countries

The report uses the term developing countries to describe those countries with per capita incomes in 2001 that averaged less than $9,206. These countries are further subdivided into four groups: low income, $745 or less; lower middle income, $746-2,975; upper middle income, $2,976-9,205; and high income, $9,206 or more. Developed countries include those in which per capita incomes in 2001 averaged more than $9,206. The different countries are developing at their own rates and have different capacities and challenges in providing health care services to their populations.

Developing countries tend to share a number of the following characteristics:

  • Low GDP per capita: In most developing countries, a serious disparity exists between increasing population size and low industrial and agricultural productivity. This situation is often aggravated by heavy external indebtedness, restricted access to global markets, and insecure prices of exportable raw commodities.

  • Young populations: The pyramidal age structure in most developing countries has a very broad base, due to the relative and absolute predominance of young people, and a narrow tip.

  • High infant mortality and low life expectancy: Although both indicators have moderated over the last decade, the vital statistics of a majority of the developing countries still lag behind the so-called developed world.

  • Epidemiological transition: While communicable diseases and mal-



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Improving Birth Outcomes: Meeting the Challenge in the Developing World Appendix B Defining Developing Countries The report uses the term developing countries to describe those countries with per capita incomes in 2001 that averaged less than $9,206. These countries are further subdivided into four groups: low income, $745 or less; lower middle income, $746-2,975; upper middle income, $2,976-9,205; and high income, $9,206 or more. Developed countries include those in which per capita incomes in 2001 averaged more than $9,206. The different countries are developing at their own rates and have different capacities and challenges in providing health care services to their populations. Developing countries tend to share a number of the following characteristics: Low GDP per capita: In most developing countries, a serious disparity exists between increasing population size and low industrial and agricultural productivity. This situation is often aggravated by heavy external indebtedness, restricted access to global markets, and insecure prices of exportable raw commodities. Young populations: The pyramidal age structure in most developing countries has a very broad base, due to the relative and absolute predominance of young people, and a narrow tip. High infant mortality and low life expectancy: Although both indicators have moderated over the last decade, the vital statistics of a majority of the developing countries still lag behind the so-called developed world. Epidemiological transition: While communicable diseases and mal-

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Improving Birth Outcomes: Meeting the Challenge in the Developing World nutrition remain prime causes of morbidity in developing countries, the incidence of noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes is increasing, creating a double burden of disease. Weak health care infrastructure: A shortage of skilled health care workers plagues most developing countries, where the relatively few medical professionals tend to be concentrated in urban areas. Health expenditure per capita in developing countries is typically a fraction of that in the developing world. Social unrest and violent conflict: The subsequent disruption to and loss of infrastructure reduces the availability of health services. Additionally, the attention and funds for social services and health care are diverted to military and defense efforts. Other features: Many, but not all, developing countries also suffer the following disadvantages: low literacy rates, especially among women; predominantly traditional, rural forms of social organization; extreme climates; frequent natural catastrophes such as drought, floods, and famine; large-scale population displacement; epidemic rates of HIV/AIDS.

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Improving Birth Outcomes: Meeting the Challenge in the Developing World BOX B-1 Classification of Countries by Per Capita Income Developing Countries Low Income East Asia & Pacific Cambodia Indonesia Korea, Dem. Rep. Lao PDR Mongolia Myanmar Papua New Guinea Solomon Islands Timor-Leste Vietnam Europe & Central Asia Armenia Azerbaijan Georgia Kyrgyz Republic Moldova Tajikistan Ukraine Uzbekistan Latin America & Caribbean Haiti Nicaragua Middle East & North Africa Yemen, Rep. South Asia Afghanistan Bangladesh Bhutan India Nepal Pakistan Sub-Saharan Africa Angola Benin Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Central African Republic Chad Comoros Congo, Dem. Rep. Congo, Rep. Côte d’Ivoire Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gambia, The Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Kenya Lesotho Liberia Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mozambique Niger Nigeria Rwanda São Tomé and Principe Senegal Sierra Leone Somalia Sudan Tanzania Togo Uganda Zambia Zimbabwe Lower middle income East Asia & Pacific China Fiji Kiribati Marshall Islands Micronesia, Fed. Sts. Philippines Samoa Thailand Tonga Vanuatu Europe & Central Asia Albania Belarus Bosnia and Herzegovina Bulgaria Kazakhstan Macedonia, FYR Romania Russian Federation Turkey Turkmenistan Yugoslavia, Fed. Rep. Latin America & Caribbean Belize Bolivia Colombia Cuba Dominican Republic Ecuador El Salvador Guatemala Guyana Honduras Jamaica Paraguay Peru St. Vincent and the Grenadines Suriname

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Improving Birth Outcomes: Meeting the Challenge in the Developing World Middle East & North Africa Algeria Djibouti Egypt, Arab Rep. Iran, Islamic Rep. Iraq Jordan Morocco Syrian Arab Republic Tunisia West Bank and Gaza South Asia Maldives Sri Lanka Sub-Saharan Africa Cape Verde Namibia South Africa Swaziland Upper Middle Income East Asia & Pacific American Samoa Malaysia Palau Europe & Central Asia Croatia Czech Republic Estonia Hungary Isle of Man Latvia Lithuania Poland Slovak Republic Latin America & Caribbean Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Barbados Brazil Chile Costa Rica Dominica Grenada Mexico Panama Puerto Rico St. Kitts and Nevis St. Lucia Trinidad and Tobago Uruguay Venezuela, RB Middle East & North Africa Lebanon Libya Malta Oman Saudi Arabia Sub-Saharan Africa Botswana Gabon Mauritius Mayotte Seychelles High Income: Non-OECD Andorra Aruba Bahamas, The Bahrain Bermuda Brunei Cayman Islands Channel Islands Cyprus Faeroe Islands French Polynesia Greenland Guam Hong Kong, China Israel Kuwait Liechtenstein Macao, China Monaco Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia Northern Mariana Islands Qatar San Marino Singapore Slovenia United Arab Emirates Virgin Islands (U.S.) High Income: OECD Australia Austria Belgium Canada Denmark Finland France Germany Greece

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Improving Birth Outcomes: Meeting the Challenge in the Developing World Iceland Ireland Italy Japan Korea, Rep. Luxembourg Netherlands New Zealand Norway Portugal Spain Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom United States SOURCE: World Bank, 2001.