Brazil and Mexico: Relative Levels of Development

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The purpose of this essay is to identify and very succinctly describe the five most important demographic and economic data categories pertaining to each of the two chosen countries - Brazil and Mexico - that have to be analyzed to determine the relative levels of development there.


For decades after the 2nd World War, after the United Nations Organization was set up, country-wise development was measured in terms of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Critics to this measure held that judging a country's development levels solely through factors that measure economic performance was insufficient as it failed to consider several other performance items, especially intangible humanitarian ones, that greatly indicated development levels in their variations from country to country.
In the early 1990s the United Nations took heed of this failing and introduced a new index for development: the Index of Human Development (IHD) (Wharton School, 2004). It is a simple measure and considers only three variables: per capita income, access to education and life expectancy. As of 2004, 175 of the United Nation's 191 countries use this index (Wharton School, 2004).
The 2003 "Human Development Index" Report brought out by the United Nations in collaboration with other international agencies like the World Bank and UNESCO rank Mexico in the 55th place while Brazil ranks in the 65th place. In all 175 countries are listed. Four data sets are considered, all belonging to the period 2000-2001. These are as follows:
It is clearly observable from the data sets that except for the "per capita income" set, which belongs to the economic category, the ...
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