Developed country

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Newly industrialized countries as of 2007

A developing country is that country which has a relatively low standard of living, an undeveloped industrial base, and a moderate to low Human Development Index (HDI) score and per capita income, but is in a phase of economic development. Usually all countries which are neither a developed country nor a failed state are classified as developing countries, despite the above facts, this is not true for all countries as some developing countries are far more developed than some developed countries.

Countries with more advanced economies than other developing nations, but which have not yet fully demonstrated the signs of a developed country, are grouped under the term newly industrialized countries.[1][2][3][4] Other developing countries which have maintained sustained economic growth over the years and exhibit good economic potential are termed as emerging markets. The Big Emerging Market (BEM) economies are Argentina, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey.[5][6] The application of the term developing country to any country which is not developed is inappropriate because a number of poor countries have experienced prolonged periods of economic decline. Such countries are classified as either least developed countries or failed states.

Development entails a modern infrastructure (both physical and institutional), and a move away from low value added sectors such as agriculture and natural resource extraction. Developed countries, in comparison, usually have economic systems based on continuous, self-sustaining economic growth in the tertiary and quaternary sectors and high standards of living.

Measure and concept of development

The development of a country is measured with statistical indexes such as income per capita (per person) (GDP), life expectancy, the rate of literacy, et cetera. The UN has developed the HDI, a compound indicator of the above statistics, to gauge the level of human development for countries where data is available.

Developing countries are in general countries which have not achieved a significant degree of industrialization relative to their populations, and which have a low standard of living. There is a strong correlation between low income and high population growth.

The terms utilized when discussing developing countries refer to the intent and to the constructs of those who utilize these terms. Other terms sometimes used are less developed countries (LDCs), least economically developed countries (LEDCs), "underdeveloped nations" or Third World nations, and "non-industrialized nations". Conversely, the opposite end of the spectrum is termed developed countries, most economically developed countries (MEDCs), First World nations and "industrialized nations".

To moderate the euphemistic aspect of the word developing, international organizations have started to use the term Less economically developed country (LEDCs) for the poorest nations which can in no sense be regarded as developing. That is, LEDCs are the poorest subset of LDCs. This also moderates the wrong tendency to believe that the standard of living in the entire developing world is the same.

The concept of the developing nation is found, under one term or another, in numerous theoretical systems having diverse orientations — for example, theories of decolonization, liberation theology, Marxism, anti-imperialism, and political economy.

Critics believe that at times the word "developing" is a misnomer. In the case of countries ravaged by European colonialism, the word "re-developing" may be more accurate since there were successful economic systems prior to colonialism. Allegedly due to ethnocentrism, Western analysts generally deem these prior interactions invalid and do not consider them "developed". The premise is that "to develop" is the same thing as "to develop in a western manner".

List of Emerging and Developing Economies

The following are considered Emerging and Developing Economies according to the International Monetary Fund's World Economic Outlook Report, April 2008.[7]

Typology and names of countries

Countries are often loosely placed into five categories of development. Each category includes the countries listed in their respective article. The term "developing nation" is not a label to assign a specific, similar type of problem.

  1. Newly industrialized countries (NICs) are nations with economies more advanced and developed than those in the developing world, but not yet with the full signs of a developed country.[1][2][3][4] NIC is a category between developed and developing countries, and it includes Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey.
  2. Big Emerging Market (BEM) economies are Argentina, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey.[8][9]
  3. Countries with an inconsistent record of development: most countries in Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean (except Jamaica, in category 2, and Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory); much of the Arab World; also a few countries from Southeast Asia (Laos and Cambodia). 76% of the world's countries fall under this category.
  4. Countries with long-term civil war or large-scale breakdown of rule of law or non-development-oriented dictatorship ("failed states") (e.g. Afghanistan, Haiti, Somalia, Myanmar, Iraq, North Korea); they sometimes also have low resources.

See also

Template:Global economic classifications


  1. 1.0 1.1 Paweł Bożyk (2006). "Newly Industrialized Countries". Globalization and the Transformation of Foreign Economic Policy. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 0-75-464638-6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mauro F. Guillén (2003). "Multinationals, Ideology, and Organized Labor". The Limits of Convergence. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-69-111633-4.
  3. 3.0 3.1 David Waugh (3rd edition 2000). "Manufacturing industries (chapter 19), World development (chapter 22)". Geography, An Integrated Approach. Nelson Thornes Ltd. pp. 563, 576–579, 633, and 640. ISBN 0-17-444706-X. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  4. 4.0 4.1 N. Gregory Mankiw (4th Edition 2007). Principles of Economics. ISBN 0-32-422472-9. Check date values in: |year= (help)
  5. New York State University at Albany: "The Ten Big Emerging Market Initiative A Decade Later: Measurements and Commentary."
  6. Yale University Library: Emerging Markets - The Big Ten Countries
  7. IMF Emerging and Developing Economies List. World Economic Outlook Database, April 2008.
  8. New York State University at Albany: "The Ten Big Emerging Market Initiative A Decade Later: Measurements and Commentary."
  9. Yale University Library: Emerging Markets - The Big Ten Countries

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