Is Morocco a Third World Country? An In-Depth Look
Is Morocco a Third World Country

The question of whether Morocco should be considered a third-world country is a complex one. This article takes an in-depth look at the factors that contribute to Morocco’s status as a developing nation and how it compares to other countries around the world.

With insightful analysis, you’ll gain a nuanced understanding of where Morocco stands on the spectrum of development.

Introduction – Understanding the Term “Third World Country”

The term “third world country” originated during the Cold War era to describe nations that did not align with either the capitalist West or communist East.

Today, the term is often used interchangeably with “developing country” and refers to nations working to establish stable economies, infrastructure, education, healthcare, and political systems.

While the terminology is outdated, it points to the challenges many countries face in growing their economies and providing citizens with a high quality of life.

In Morocco’s case, progress has been made but factors like poverty, healthcare, and education show there is room for improvement. Evaluating these key aspects can help shed light on whether Morocco fits the third-world definition.

Assessing Morocco as a Developing Country: Development Factors

As a developing country, Morocco faces obstacles in areas like education, healthcare, and gender equality. Educational access and quality, especially in rural locations, remain an issue.

Progress has been seen in improving healthcare services but per capita spending remains low compared to developed nations. And while advancements have been made, gender inequality persists throughout society.

Economic Growth and Progress

Over the past decade, Morocco has seen consistent GDP growth hovering around 4%. Yet this pace still lags behind other emerging economies.

Poverty remains relatively high with millions living on under $4 a day. While the country is developing economically, the pace has yet to meaningfully uplift living standards for a broad portion of citizens.

Comparing Income and Poverty Rates

Morocco’s GNI per capita is $3710 which places it in the lower-middle income tier of countries. Its poverty headcount ratio stands at 5.2% as of 2023.

Compared to developed nations, these metrics point to lower average incomes and a poverty rate that still impacts over 4.2 million citizens in Morocco.

While improvement is being made, the income and poverty picture shows Morocco’s third-world categorization remains fitting.

Understanding Morocco’s Rank Among 189 Countries

One way of assessing Morocco’s developmental status is by looking at its ranking according to the UN Human Development Index (HDI).

The HDI evaluates countries based on lifespans, education levels, and per capita income. It provides valuable insight into living standards.

Where Does Morocco Rank?

In the 2021 HDI rankings, Morocco came in at 124 out of 189 countries. This places it in the medium human development category, behind Eastern European nations like Ukraine and Moldova.

Compared globally, the ranking shows room for advancement.

Factors Influencing Morocco’s Rank

Morocco’s HDI placement is attributed to factors like income inequality, and a moderate per capita income of $3,291.

Raising education participation, developing infrastructure, and promoting human rights are crucial for Morocco to climb the development ladder.

How Does The Quality of Life in Morocco Compare?

Metrics like access to education, healthcare, electricity, and safe water shed light on quality of life in Morocco. While progress has been made in expanding access to healthcare and electrification, regional gaps persist especially in rural zones. Educational quality and attainment also show room for improvement.

Comparing Living Conditions to Other Nations

Compared to developed nations, Morocco comes up short in areas like sanitation, drinking water, healthcare spending, and educational enrollment.

For example, only 87.5% have access to basic sanitation compared to 100% in most advanced economies. These gaps exemplify why Morocco is still working towards growth as a developing nation.

Infrastructure Development in Morocco

In recent years, Morocco has invested heavily in modern infrastructure like ports, roads, and railways. But overall, things like transportation, utilities, and the internet remain less developed compared to peers in Eastern Europe.

Ongoing infrastructure projects aim to close these gaps, but they exemplify conditions still typical of the developing world.

How Far is Morocco Dependent on Other Economies?

Morocco depends heavily on external sources like tourism, remittances, and exports to drive growth. Tourism makes up 11% of GDP. Remittances account for almost 6% of GDP with much of this coming from Moroccans abroad in Spain and France.

As an import-dependent country, it also relies on nations like Spain, France, China, and the U.S. for trade and investment.

Consequences of High Dependence

Dependence on tourism and remittances from abroad leaves Morocco vulnerable. This was seen during the Covid pandemic when travel restrictions severely harmed the economy.

Reliance on food and fuel imports also means external shocks are transferred inward. Boosting domestic industries could reduce these risks and build self-reliance.

Measures to Increase Economic Independence

Expanding agricultural productivity, manufacturing capacity, and export diversification are crucial steps to make the economy less dependent.

Investing in education and technology to grow highly skilled industries is also key. While change takes time, setting the economy on a path to independence would represent a step forward.

Is Morocco a Democratic Place to Live?

Morocco is a constitutional monarchy where the King retains significant powers. Reforms have been made to decentralize power but concerns persist around corruption, free elections, and limits on activism.

While not fully democratic, Morocco has seen progress in recent decades.

Comparing the Democracy Level in Morocco and Other Countries

On indices like Freedom House’s Freedom in the World rankings, Morocco scores higher than some regional peers but lower than Eastern European nations.

Its designation as “Partly Free” shows room for democratic institutions to strengthen. This again exemplifies the transitional state typical of developing countries.

How Democracy Impacts the Quality of Life in Morocco?

Democratic reforms allowing greater economic freedom and political participation have contributed to Morocco’s development progress.

Further steps expanding individual rights and supporting grassroots community action could amplify the quality of life improvements. Deepening democracy remains key for unlocking Morocco’s growth potential.

Conclusion and Summary

In reviewing Morocco’s developmental progress, poverty rates, infrastructure, and governance, it becomes clear that while advancements have been made, it is still considered a third world country.

Key points to remember:

  • Education, healthcare, and gender equality gaps shows room for human development
  • Income and poverty metrics lag behind peer developing economies
  • Global rankings place Morocco solidly among lower-middle income countries
  • Dependence on tourism, remittances, and imports reveals economic vulnerabilities
  • Democratic reforms have been made but further expansion of rights is needed

While Morocco has come a long way, it still faces the challenges of a developing nation. Targeted policies and reforms can help close the gaps keeping Morocco from reaching its potential in the years ahead.

With sound strategies, reaching developed country status can become an achievable vision.

Also Read: Is Morocco A Poor Country?


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