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Difference Between Growth and Development

Growth vs Development

 Growth DevelopmentGrowth is a process of becoming larger or longer or more numerous or more important; mostly a physical change, whereas development is a process in which something transform (mostly positive) in to a different stage or improves, it may be physical, social or psychological.

Growth and development are two words in the English language that can be used with some difference although they appear to have the same connotation.  There is a marked difference with which the two words can be used.

Growth is taken to mean an increase in the size of an object or a living being.  ‘The lump as grown in size’ is an example of its usage.  Development is taken to mean an improvement in the level of functioning.  ‘He developed into a nice officer’ is an example of its usage.

Development may mean a kind of improvement in the condition of health.  ‘He developed a better pulse rate now’ is an example.  Growth describes the process of growing.  ‘There was a rapid growth in the economy of the country’ is an example.  It indicates an increase in value.  ‘There was a growth in the number of hospitals in the city.’  Growth can mean an increase in a crop or yield of some fruit for that matter.  ‘The farmer was amazed with the tremendous growth of grapes’.

The term ‘full growth’ is used to convey the sense of maturity.  ‘The investment reached full growth’.  Any industry can be called ‘growth industry’ if it is developing rapidly.  ‘Steel industry is presently the growth industry’ is an example for its usage.  Similarly a ‘growth stock’ is the one that tends to increase in capital value.  This particular usage is found often in the stock market arena.

The term ‘development’ is used to convey the sense of the act of developing or the ‘process of being developed’.  In fact it is used to convey the idea of ‘a stage of growth’.  In short it can be said that the word ‘growth’ is a subset of the word ‘development’.  ‘The lump developed into a tumor due to an increase in its growth’ is one of the best examples of its usage.  In this example the phrase ‘an increase in its growth’ suggested an increase in the size of the lump.  Thus it can be said that the word ‘growth’ is a subset of the word ‘development’.

Development may mean a process of gradual transformation.  You can use the word ‘development’ to suggest a process of developing.  For example you can say, ‘process of developing a photograph’.  A full-grown state or land is an instance of development.  Some of the examples of this kind of usage are ‘a developed piece of agricultural land’, ‘a developed area of land’ and the like.  The idea of fertility is meant in the former where as an improvement in the living conditions is meant in the latter phrase.

A ‘development area’ is one where new industries are encouraged in order to provide employment for people in a bid to trigger economy.  ‘This country abounds in several development areas’ is the corresponding usage.  Observe the usage ‘the boy has grown into a handsome youth’.  The development of the features of his body is suggested in this sentence.  Thus the two words, namely, ‘growth’ and ‘development’ differ much in their sense.


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