Difference Between Economic Growth and Economic Development

The terms Economic Growth and Economic Development sound very similar. However, the two concepts are different. While Economic growth is a quantitative concept, Economic development is a qualitative concept.

What is Economic Growth?

Economic growth can be referred to as that increase which is witnessed in the monetary value of all the goods and services that are produced in the economy during a time period. It is one type of quantitative measure which reflects the potential increase of the number of business transactions taking place in the economy.
Economic growth can be measured in terms of the increase in the aggregate market value of additional goods and services produced, using economic concepts such as GDP and GNP.
Economic growth is a much narrower concept when compared to Economic Development.
Also Check: Human Capital on Economic Growth

What is Economic Development?

Economic development refers to the process by which the overall health, well-being, and academic level of the general population of a nation improve. It also means improved production volume due to the advancements of technology.
It is the qualitative improvement in the life of citizens of a country and is most appropriately determined by the Human Development Index (HDI). The overall development of a country is based on many parameters such as the creation of job opportunities, technological advancements, standard of living, living conditions, per capita income, quality of life, improvement in self-esteem needs, GDP, industrial and infrastructural development, etc.
Let us look into the most significant points of difference between Economic Growth and Economic Development from the following table.

Economic Growth Economic Development
Increase in the monetary growth of a nation in a particular period It refers to the overall development of the quality of life in a nation which includes economic growth
Span of Concept 
It is a narrower concept than Economic Development It is a broader concept than Economic Growth
It is a uni-dimensional approach which deals with the economic growth of the nation It is a multi-dimensional approach that looks into the income and as well as the quality of life of the nation
Short-term process Long-term process
Quantitative Both Quantitative and Qualitative
Applicable to
Developed Economies Developing Economies
Government Support
It is an automatic process that may or may not require intervention from the government It requires intervention from the government as all the developmental policies are formed by the government
Kind of changes expected
Quantitative changes Quantitative as well as qualitative changes
GDP, GNP HDI, Per capita Income, Industrial Development


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