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Rostow’s Drive to Maturity Stage of Economic Growth (14 Features)


Rostow defines it, “as the period when a society has effectively applied the range of modern technology to the bulk of its resources.”

It is a period of long sustained growth extending over four decades. New production techniques take place over the old ones.

During this period the rates of saving and investment reach such a magnitude that economic development becomes automatic.


As the economy drives to maturity, the overall capital per head increases. New leading sectors are created. The proportion of population engaged in rural pursuits declines, people prefer to live in urban areas and the structure of the country’s foreign trade undergoes a radical change. Working force becomes technically skilled. Real wages rise. The working force organizes itself in order to have greater economic and social security.

Prof. Rostow has given the following symbolic dates for technical maturity of some countries:

Prof. Rostow has given the following symbolic dates for technical maturity of some countries

The significant, changes which take place within a society in drive to maturity stages are given as under:


(i) There is change in the character of working force. They become more skilled. The people prefer to live in urban areas than in rural areas. The workers enjoy high real wages. The workers organize themselves to enjoy more economic and social security.

(ii) There is also change in the character of entrepreneurship. We find a new class of managers who are more polite and efficient.

(iii) The people get bored of industrialization and wish constant changes. Thus new labourers, new entrepreneurs and new wants, are the three basic pillars of ‘Drive to Maturity’.

Features of Drive to Maturity or Self-sustained Growth:


(i) The rate of investment goes up from 10 to 20 percent. The increase in national income swaps the increase in population completely. Rather, growth rate of national income is much more than the growth rate of population.

(ii) There is lot of improvement in the conditions of labourers. The dependence on agriculture falls. The labourers become better off.

(iii) The per capita income and living standard of the people also show upward trend.

(iv) New social and political institutions are set up.

(v) Production is managed by able and efficient entrepreneurs.

(vi) New technology is introduced in all the sectors of the economy.

(vii) International trade also occupies a vital place.

(viii) Dependence on other countries is considerably reduced.

(ix) Organisation of production is done by skilled personal.


(x) New leading sector are created.

(xi) Modern techniques become widespread across all lines of production.

(xii) The economy earns a status of significance among other countries.

(xiii) During this period, there is a rapid increase in exports.


(xiv) The stage of maturity comes after 40-60 years of take-off stage.

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