Economic Development refers to the process by which the economic health and quality of life of the country improves. It contains a number of structural changes. On the other hand, sustainable development is a process of development wherein economic, social and environmental policies are designed to result in a development which is sustainable, i.e. which maintains ecological balance.
In short, it ensures a better quality of life for all people whether they belong to the present or future generation.
When the development is not sustainable, then there is economic inequality, social instability and environmental degradation.
What is Development?
All individuals establish their own goals, depending upon their hopes and aspirations. They work for attaining those goals and when they succeed in achieving those goals, they set a higher one. This is called development in the most basic sense.
In this post, we are going to discuss the differences between economic development and sustainable development.
Content: Economic Development Vs Sustainable Development
- Comparison Chart
- What is Economic Development?
- What is Sustainable Development?
- Key Differences
|Basis for Comparison||Economic Development||Sustainable Development|
|Meaning||Economic Development refers to the development of the economy in terms of financial progress, advancement in technology and improvement in standard of living.||Sustainable Development means the use of available resources in such a manner that present and future generations can reap the benefits.|
|Increase in||Per capita income and economic welfare||Real per capita income and economic welfare of present as well as future generations.|
|Focus on environmental protection||No||Yes|
|Context||It is used in the context of underdeveloped countries.||It is used in the context of both developed and underdeveloped countries.|
What is Economic Development?
Economic Development means improvement in the economic welfare in terms of higher real income and various other welfare indices. These indices include better literacy, infrastructure, and reduced poverty. Economic Development on one hand brings material welfare for human beings by increasing national output. On the other hand, it pollutes the environment by overusing natural resources.
It depends on the growth of real factors which includes:
- Capital Accumulation
- Technological Progress
- Increase in quality and skills of the labour force
The aim of economic development is to create an environment, wherein people are able to expand their capabilities and there is an increase in opportunities. It is all about improving the lives we live and the freedom that we enjoy.
It is a process by which the country develops better social and political institutions and the people get the freedom to choose. The development can be achieved through higher participation in the processing capacity of industrial production.
Effect of Economic Development
Economic Development can be expressed over a long period of time. In other words, it involves long-term improvement in the overall material well-being of society. Along with the growth in national income, it covers changes in social, cultural, political and economic aspects that play a crucial role in material progress. It not only covers quantitative changes but also includes qualitative changes, which are:
- Change in economic structure
- Introduction of new products
- Introduction of new technologies
- The emergence of new sectors and industries
- Increase in job opportunities.
- Improvement in infrastructure
- Reduction in the size of the population
- Improvement in skills and efficiency
- Increase in the rate of capital formation
Measurement of Economic Development
The Economic Development of a country can be measured in various ways such as life expectancy or real GDP per capita.
What is Sustainable Development?
Sustainable Development implies the kind of development that not just satisfies the needs of today’s generation but also improves the capability of future generations to ensure that they fulfil their needs. Further, it assures the balance between economic growth, environmental care and social well-being, to attain long-term sustainability.
More precisely, it makes sure that the economic development of the country does not come at the expense of social and environmental well-being. Hence, at the time of decision making all three aspects i.e. environmental, social and economic are taken into account.
It ensures economic development while safeguarding the environment and preserving natural resources. It requires:
- Preservation of natural resources and increasing the use of renewable resources.
- Encouraging the use of technologies which are environmentally safe for developmental purposes.
- Framing and implementing policies for the security of people and human justice.
Do you know?
The concept of sustainable development was coined into the political agenda by World Environment and Development Commission through Brundtland Report, in 1987.
Sustainable Development refers to a comprehensive view of human well-being. It gives a long-term perspective regarding the consequences of current activities and the contribution and participation of people to reach a viable solution.
Elements of Sustainable Development
- Social sustainability
- Environment protection
Meaning of Sustainability
Sustainability refers to the need of the present generation for managing the stock of resources in such a manner that the average quality of life which we are getting can also be shared by the coming generations.
Here, the word ‘quality of life’ covers everything which influences the circumstances in which people survive.
- Reducing pollution by using eco-friendly vehicles.
- Keeping a check on the use of natural resources, for ensuring their availability for future generations.
- Safeguarding environment
- Social equality for availing natural resources
Key Differences Between Economic Development and Sustainable Development
- Economic Development means a process by which the country or its citizens experiences improvement in living standards, health conditions, educational status and enhanced opportunities. On the contrary, Sustainable Development means the kind of development that fulfils the needs of today’s generation while taking care of the needs of future generations.
- Economic Development results in an increase in per capita income and economic welfare. On the other hand, sustainable development leads to an increase in real per capita income and economic welfare of present as well as future generations.
- Economic Development does not focus on environmental protection. Whereas sustainable development focuses on environmental protection.
- Most of the time, we use the word ‘economic development’ in the context of underdeveloped countries. In contrast, we use the word ‘sustainable development’ in the context of developed and underdeveloped countries
All in all, Sustainability is shared by various organizations as a value that exhibits the same in their policies, behaviours and activities. As per sustainable development, current consumption cannot be increased to such an extent that it results in economic debt and ecological imbalance which the coming generations will pay.