A developing country (or a low and middle income country (LMIC), less developed country, less economically developed country (LEDC), or underdeveloped country) is a country with a less developed industrial base and a low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. However, this definition is not universally agreed upon. There is also no clear agreement on which countries fit this category. A nation's GDP per capita compared with other nations can also be a reference point.
The Sustainable Development Goals, by the United Nations, were set up to help overcome many of these problems. Development aid or development cooperation is financial aid given by governments and other agencies to support the economic, environmental, social and political development of developing countries.
The concept of the developing nation is found, under one term or another, in numerous theoretical systems having diverse orientations ‚ for example, theories of decolonization, liberation theology, Marxism, anti-imperialism, modernization, social change and political economy.
To moderate the euphemistic aspect of the word "developing", international organizations have started to use the term less economically developed country for the poorest nationsówhich can, in no sense, be regarded as developing. This highlights that the standard of living across the entire developing world varies greatly. Other terms sometimes used are less developed countries, underdeveloped nations, and non-industrialized nations. Conversely, developed countries, most economically developed countries, industrialized nations are the opposite end of the spectrum.
Slums form and grow in different parts of the world for many different reasons. Causes include rapid rural-to-urban migration, economic stagnation and depression, high unemployment, poverty, informal economy, forced or manipulated ghettoization, poor planning, politics, natural disasters and social conflicts. For example, as populations expand in poorer countries, rural people are moving to cities in an extensive urban migration that is resulting in the creation of slums.
Female genital mutilation is another form of violence against women which is still occurring in many developing countries. It is found mostly in Africa, and to a lesser extent in the Middle East and some other parts of Asia. Developing countries with the highest rate of women who have been cut are Somalia (with 98 per cent of women affected), Guinea (96 per cent), Djibouti (93 per cent), Egypt (91 per cent), Eritrea (89 per cent), Mali (89 per cent), Sierra Leone (88 per cent), Sudan (88 per cent), Gambia (76 per cent), Burkina Faso (76 per cent), and Ethiopia (74 per cent). Due to globalization and immigration, FGM is spreading beyond the borders of Africa and Middle East, to countries such as Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, New Zealand, the U.S., and UK.
About 892 million people, or 12 per cent of the global population, practiced open defecation instead of using toilets in 2016. Seventy-six per cent (678 million) of the 892 million people practicing open defecation in the world live in just seven countries. India is the country with the highest number of people practicing open defecation. Further countries with a high number of people openly defecating are Nigeria (47 million), followed by Indonesia (31 million), Ethiopia (27 million), Pakistan (23 million), Niger (14 million) and Sudan (11 million).
Climate stress is likely to add to existing migration patterns in developing countries and beyond but is not expected to generate entirely new flows of people. A report by World Bank in 2018 estimated that around 143 million people in three regions (Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America) could be forced to move within their own countries to escape the slow-onset impacts of climate change. They will migrate from less viable areas with lower water availability and crop productivity and from areas affected by rising sea level and storm surges.