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Growth vs Development

What is Growth?
Growth is taken to mean an increase in the size of an object or a living being. The lump
as grown in size is an example of its usage. Growth describes the process of growing.
There was a rapid growth in the economy of the country is an example. It indicates an
increase in value. There was a growth in the number of hospitals in the city. Growth
can mean an increase in a crop or yield of some fruit for that matter. The farmer was
amazed by the tremendous growth of grapes.
The term full growth is used to convey a sense of maturity. The investment reached full
growth. Any industry can be called growth industry if it is developing rapidly. Steel
industry is presently the growth industry is an example for its usage. Similarly, a growth
stock is the one that tends to increase in capital value. This particular usage is often
found in the stock market arena.

What is Development?
Development is taken to mean an improvement in the level of functioning. He
developed into a nice officer is an example of its usage. Development may mean a kind
of improvement in the condition of health. He developed a better pulse rate now is an
The term development is used to convey the sense of the act of developing or the
process of being developed. In fact, it is used to convey the idea of a stage of growth.
In short it can be said that the word growth is a subset of the word development. The
lump developed into a tumor due to an increase in its growth is one of the best
examples of its usage. In this example, the phrase an increase in its growth suggested
an increase in the size of the lump. Thus, it can be said that the word growth is a
subset of the word development.
Development may mean the process of gradual transformation. You can use the word
development to suggest a process of developing. For example, you can say, process

of developing a photograph. A full-grown state or land is an instance of development.

Some of the examples of this kind of usage are a developed piece of agricultural land,
a developed area of land and the like. The idea of fertility is meant in the former
whereas an improvement in the living conditions is meant in the latter phrase.
A development area is one where new industries are encouraged in order to provide
employment for people in a bid to trigger economy. This country abounds in several
development areas is the corresponding usage. Observe the usage the boy has grown
into a handsome youth. The development of the features of his body is suggested in
this sentence. Thus the two words, namely, growth and development differ much in
their sense.

Growth and development are not the same thing. Neither is

necessary for the other. A rubbish heap can grow but it does not
develop. Artists can develop without growing. Nevertheless, many
managers take development to be the same as growth. Most efforts
directed at corporate development are actually directed at corporate
To grow is to increase in size or number. To develop is to increase
ones ability and desire to satisfy ones own needs and legitimate
desires and those of others. A legitimate desire is one that, when
satisfied, does not impede the development of anyone else.
Development of individuals and corporations is more a matter
of learning than earning. It has less to do with how much one has
than how much one can do with whatever one has.
Development is better reflected in quality of life than in standard of
living. Therefore, the level of development of a corporation is better
reflected in the quality of work life it provides its employees than in
its profit-and-loss statement.
If an undeveloped country or corporation was flooded with money it
would be richer but no more developed. On the other hand, if a well

developed country or corporation was suddenly deprived of wealth,

it would not be less developed.
A well-developed country or corporation can do more with its
resources than one that is less developed. This is not to say that the
amount of resources available is irrelevant. Resources can be used
to accelerate development and improve quality of life, but they can
best be used for these purposes by those who are developed.
Growth and development do not have to conflict; they can reinforce
each other. The best evidence that this is happening is a
simultaneous increase in standard of living and quality of life.
However, there is currently a widespread belief that quality of life is
being sacrificed to increase standard of living. This belief is
accompanied by a willingness to sacrifice standard of living to
improve quality of life, a willingness that is reflected in the
environmentalist movement.
A lack of resources can limit growth but not development. The more
developed individuals, organisations, or societies become the less
they depend on resources and the more they can do with whatever
resources they have. They also have the ability and the desire to
create or acquire the resources they need.
An individual can grow too much. Some people and many societies
believe that a corporation can too. But would anyone argue that
individuals, corporations, or countries can develop too much?

Key Differences Between Economic Growth and Economic

The basic differences between economic growth and development are explained
in the points given below:

1. Economic growth is the positive change in the real output of the country in
a particular span of time economy. Economic Development involves rise in
the level of production in an economy along with the advancement of
technology, improvement in living standards and so on.
2. Economic growth is one of the feature of economic development.
3. Economic growth is an automatic process. Unlike economic development,
which is the outcome of planned and result oriented activities.
4. Economic growth enables an increase in the indicators like GDP, per capita
income, etc. On the other hand, economic development enables
improvement in the life expectancy rate, infant mortality rate, literacy rate
and poverty rates.
5. Economic growth can be measured when there is a positive change in the
national income, whereas economic development can be seen when there is
an increase in real national income.
6. Economic growth is a short term process which takes into account yearly
growth of the economy. But if we talk about economic development it is a
long term process.
7. Economic Growth is applicable to developed economies to gauge to the
quality of life, but as it is an essential condition for the development, it
applies to developing countries also. In contrast to, economic development
is applicable to developing countries to measure progress.
8. Economic Growth results in quantitative changes, but economic
development brings both quantitative and qualitative changes.
9. Economic growth can be measured in a particular period of time. As
opposed to economic development is a continuous process, so it can be
seen in the long run.


To understand the two terms economic growth and economic development, we

will take an example of a human being. The term growth of human beings simply
means the increase in their height and weight which is purely physical. But if you
talk about human development, it will take into account both the physical and
abstract aspects like maturity level, attitudes, habits, behavior, feelings,
intelligence and so on.
In the like manner, growth of an economy can be measured through the increase
in its size in the current year in comparison to previous years, but economic
development includes not only physical, but also non-physical aspects that can
only be experienced like improvement in the lifestyle of the inhabitants, increase
in individual income, improvement in technology and infrastructure, etc.

Growth is physical changes whereas development is overall development of the organism. The main
differences between both are(1) Growth is change of physical aspects of the organism. Development is overall changes and
progressive changes of the organism.
(2) Growth is cellular but development is organizational.
(3) Growth is the change in shape, form, structure, size of the body. Development is structural
change and functional progress of the body.
(4) Growth stops at maturation but development continues till death of the organism.
(5) Development also includes growth. Growth is a part of development.
(6) Growth and development go side by side.
(7) Growth and development is the joint product of heredity and environment.
(8) Growth is quantitative and development is qualitative in nature.
(9) Growth can be measured accurately but development is subjective interpretation of ones change


Economic Growth


Economic development implies an upward movement of

the entire social system in terms of income, savings and
investment along with progressive changes in
socioeconomic structure of country (institutional and
technological changes).

growth refers
to an increase
over time in a
real output of
goods and
(GNP) or real
output per


Development relates to growth of human capital indexes,

a decrease in inequality figures, and structural changes
that improve the general population's quality of life.

relates to a
increase in
one of the
of Gross
net exports.

Qualitative.HDI (Human Development Index), genderrelated index (GDI), Human poverty index (HPI), infant
mortality, literacy rate etc.

in real GDP.

Brings qualitative and quantitative changes in the






Economic Growth
changes in
the economy



Economic development is more relevant to measure

progress and quality of life in developing nations.

growth is a
metric for
progress in
But it's
widely used
in all
growth is a
condition for

Concerned with structural changes in the economy

Growth is
with increase
in the