Economic development involves bettering the economic conditions of an area. It might include factors like increasing education levels of a popular, increasing gross domestic product, increasing happiness, and increasing the level of trade. Economic development is often confused for economic growth. Growth focuses exclusively on the economic factors, whereas development is more focused on the human factor. Economic growth does, however, play a role in development.

The term is most frequently used in regards to third-world countries or other economically weak regions. It is increasingly more and more intertwined with the concept of sustainability, where simple technologies can be used to improve the lives of impoverished peoples, like composting, sanitation, and improved agricultural techniques.

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Authors Daniel Lawhon
Published 2011
License CC-BY-SA-4.0
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