North American countries, such as Canada, have always been widely regarded as being among the world’s most highly developed nations. This fact has been accepted and acknowledged by most, but one must ask what factors determine and contribute to this developmental success compared to other nations around the globe. One way of going about answering this question is by comparing Canada to another developed nation and a developing nation using the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established by the United Nations. MDGs rate a countries development by tracking statistics of indicators given for each goal, and groups nations as either a developed or developing nation based on these statistics. This essay will compare Canada to The Netherlands (a developed nation), and Iran (a developing nation), and evaluate how Canada compares to these nations in all dimensions of development in accordance to the millennium development indicators, and to determine if these indicators are a good means of evaluating a countries development.
Canada and The Netherlands are both categorized as developed nations by the MDG regional groupings. They both share strikingly similar statistics in almost all MDG indicators. Both nations show extremely low levels of poverty and hunger, which represents healthy GDP values and low poverty gap ratios. Near 100% primary schooling in both nations represents high literacy and educational rates in both nations. Gender equivalence in schools and paid employment are high for both nations, although The Netherlands has a higher representation of women in parliament (40.7%) than Canada (24.8%), giving The Netherlands somewhat stronger gender equivalence. Both countries display low child and maternal mortality, high access to reproductive health and low tuberculosis mortality rates, indicating strong universal health care systems. Both nations are moderately forested and have 100% access to improved drinking water and sanitation which displays high living standards in both nations. High percentage of internet users signifies high public access to technology. These indicators show that the overall level of development of both nations is virtually equal, as both nations display statistics representative of highly developed nations. Although, The Netherlands has stronger gender equivalence represented in their parliament than Canada which could be used to argue that The Netherlands is slightly more developed than Canada.
Unlike Canada and The Netherlands, Iran is categorized as a developing nation, although it does share many similar statistics with Canada. Both countries have very low hunger rates, near 100% primary schooling, gender equivalence in schools, low child and maternal mortality, high access to reproductive health, low tuberculosis mortality and high access to improved drinking water and sanitation and a high percentage of internet users. Major differences between the two nations are gender equivalence in women’s paid employment and representation in parliament. Women’s share of paid employment in Iran is only 15.2% and representation in parliament is 2.8% which are vastly lower than Canada’s 50.2% and 24.8%, respectively. These indicators show that overall development in Canada is higher than Iran, as Canada has superior statistics than Iran for all indicators, although not by substantial amounts. Both countries have similar statistics in most indicators, with the only notable difference being gender equivalence issues. Looking at these results, there is a noticeable correlation between a countries statistics in the MDG indicators and its overall development as a nation, but the distinction between a developed nation and a developing nation seems to be based off minimal statistical differences. When a countries developmental categorization can be based off such small differences in statistics, accuracy of these statistics is very important. Data