Development is a term that refers to growth, progress and positive change. It is a concept that encompasses economic growth, the fulfilment of basic human needs and the preservation of the environment. It is considered to be a key element in the world order and is one of the main goals of the United Nations. The eradication of poverty, hunger and disease, the improvement in education, literacy and health care are all elements of development. It is a global goal that is not easy to achieve and the achievement of this objective has been complicated by issues such as inequality, conflict and climate change.
The definition of development is largely dependent on the culture and historical context in which a society exists. This is because human behaviour is highly complex and influenced by many factors that are not always understood. It is therefore important that the concepts of development are able to be understood and applied in different cultural settings.
Maturational meta-theories are based on assumptions that can be tested and supported through empirical research. These include evolutionary, ethological, temperament and personality theories. These are based on the idea that human beings develop through qualitatively distinct stages (like caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly). These are not necessarily linear and can be reversed.
A developed country has a high gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, meaning that people in this nation are richer than those in other countries. Other indicators of development are industrialization, the use of advanced technology and levels of education. The average life expectancy is also higher in a developed country.