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Countries like the United States that have a high standard of living are referred to as industrialized nations. Countries with a lower standard of living and quality of life are called developing countries (or underdeveloped or less developed countries). What factors prevent developing nations from becoming industrialized nations?

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There are many factors that factor into a nation's difficulty in industrializing. A lack of resources such as minerals, arable land, and clean water can be a major factor. With little to offer the outside world, few nations will want to invest there. Also, a lack of resources affects the...

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There are many factors that factor into a nation's difficulty in industrializing. A lack of resources such as minerals, arable land, and clean water can be a major factor. With little to offer the outside world, few nations will want to invest there. Also, a lack of resources affects the overall poverty of the undeveloped nation, as it is difficult for this nation to develop the tax base needed in order to develop its infrastructure and education capabilities.

A lack of infrastructure can also lead to a nation's overall poverty. A lack of roads, rails, and navigable rivers can adversely affect a business as it moves goods from one part of the nation to another. A lack of good ports and airports can also lead to difficulty importing and exporting goods. A lack of reliable internet can also affect investment opportunities inside of an undeveloped country.

Past history can also play a role. If a nation has a reputation for violence or corruption, this can be difficult to change. Even if that nation has elected reformed leaders, investment may still be slow in coming as business leaders around the world anticipate the return of unstable governments and corruption.

Any one of these factors can lead to a nation having difficulty accruing wealth. Many undeveloped nations look to bring in outside investment by minimizing business regulations and keeping labor costs low. This only partially meets the desired affect as, while it does bring in business, it also keeps the people poor as businesses do not reinvest in the country. The developing world has many issues to conquer if it ever wishes to become wealthy.

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Industrialization is a complex process that gradually takes place over time in a nation or region. There are a number of reasons why a country may fail to industrialize.

One factor that may prevent industrialization is corruption. Data from Transparency International shows a strong correlation between higher levels of corruption and lower levels of industrialization.

Second, education is important. Countries with high levels of illiteracy do not have the workforce needed to operate the machinery of an industrialized economy.

Third, entrepreneurs are needed. These individuals see opportunities and take risks by investing in new businesses. Some of these risk takers—such as those in nineteenth-century America—became very wealthy.

Next, government needs to encourage industrialization. For example, it takes steps to move the economy away from agriculture or mineral resources to one based on industrialization. And it invests in transporation and infrastructure.

Only a minority of the world's nations have managed to industrialize; making the transition is difficult. One country that did make it was South Korea. After the Korean War had ended in 1953, the government in that nation supported export industries and fostered education.

Today, the world economy is changing. Highly industrialized nations like Germany face new challenges brought on by environmental concerns and a move away from fossil fuels. In a sense, the world is moving into a post-industrial era.

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According to World Economic Situation and Prospects, which is a part of the Economic Analysis and Policy Division of the United Nations, all economies of the world are divided into three broad classifications: developing economies, economies in transition, and developed economies. The industrialized nations that you mention in the question would fall under the category of developed economies.

There are a number of factors that prevent countries with developing economies from becoming developed or industrialized nations. First of all, a country's resources play a significant role, as well as the way that a country manages its resources. Some countries have abundant resources, but their economies don't grow because their economic systems promote waste. Other countries simply lack resources.

Some countries do not develop because they use their human capital unwisely. Education and training are necessary in modern marketplaces, and the managers of businesses in developing countries may lack these essentials. For instance, they may have acquired their positions through cronyism or nepotism instead of merit.

In some developing countries, population growth exceeds GDP growth rates. This means that aggregate income is used up by a rapidly increasing population.

Cultural barriers may inhibit growth in some developing countries. Habits, traditions, family ties, religious obligations, and legal barriers can prevent development in some instances.

A lack of infrastructure prevents some developing countries from advancing. Infrastructure includes communication and transportation networks such as railways, bridges, roads, harbors, phones, postal services, sanitation, and supplies of clean water.

Numerous developing countries have been hindered from advancing because of the enormity of their foreign debt. Making payments to lenders prevents these countries from using their income for growth.

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