Part 3: richer or poorer

Signpost pointing to 'Richer' and 'Poorer'

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In Part 3, students investigate wellbeing issues in developed countries. They explore the paradox of the decline in human wellbeing that occurs in developed countries due to a range of 'first world' issues that emerge as a product of wealth and excess.

People in developed countries often consume as much as they want and have access to modern devices that remove physical activity from their routines. Added to that, they have abundant access to products that can be harmful, such as tobacco and alcohol. These factors combine to produce lifestyles that diminish wellbeing and contribute to two of the major diseases of the modern world – heart disease and cancer. Within these nations there are also regional factors, such as pollution and traffic congestion, that can lead to illness and stress, plus societal factors such as the inheritance of health issues.

Students consider whether, and in what circumstances, development affects wellbeing issues in a negative way.

Learning objectives

Students will:

  • investigate whether there is a relationship between changes in per capita income and changes in other measures of wellbeing across countries
  • understand the contradiction in the emergence of serious wellbeing issues in wealthy, developed countries
  • examine and analyse primary and secondary digital sources in a geographical enquiry and conduct a study focused on Australian wellbeing
  • research and collect information to analyse, correlate and present the association between lifestyle wellbeing issues and location
  • select and use digital resources to communicate their analysis of a case study.


  1. Activity 3.1: links between development and wellbeing
  2. Activity 3.2: the state of wellbeing in Australia
  3. Activity 3.3: how much wellbeing is too much?