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Despite the increasing integration of the global economy large differences in living standards between countries have persisted and even worsened in recent years This is evidently indicated by the stark differences in the levels of economic development and growth across the global economy suggesting the wide gaps between wealthy and poor nations Almost 80 of GWP income is dominated by just 15 of the worlds population whilst the rest of the 20 is shared by 85 While international organisations are attempting to reduce these significant differences inequality remains an entrenched feature of the global economy The main reasons accounting for these differences result from domestic and global factors Standards of living are usually measured by a nations Gross Domestic Product GDP per capita GDP measures the total value of all goods and services produced in an economy in a given year and it is usually quoted in per capita terms to adjust for differences in levels in population levels and population growth over time As GDP per capita are often adjusted to purchasing power parity PPP to allow comparison between different economies However economic growth may be an inaccurate measure as it only indicates an expansion of a countrys productive capacity resulting in the increased ability of a nation to satisfy the material wants of its people over a period of time GDP figures fail to account for other social and economic factors such as the size of the black market domestic work that is not given a financial value and the degree of income inequality within a society Therefore economic development is a much broader concept that attempts to measure the overall social and economic welfare of the overall population through quality of life indicators One of the most common indicators is the Human Development Index HDI that gives each nation a score between 0 for nations with no human development and 1 for maximum human development The HDI measures a nations GDP
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