Tiny Wiki : Fast loading, text only version of Wikipedia.

Developed Country

The term developed country is used to describe countries that have a high level of development according to some criteria. Which criteria, and which countries are classified as being developed, is a contentious issue and is surrounded by fierce debate. Economic criteria have tended to dominate discussions. One such criterion is income per capita and countries with high gross domestic product (GDP) per capita being described as developed countries. Another economic criterion is industrialization. Countries in which the tertiary and quaternary sectors of industry dominate being described as developed. More recently another measure, the Human Development Index, which combines with an economic measure, national income, with other measures, indices for life expectancy and education has become prominent. Developed countries being those with a very high (HDI) rating. However, many anomalies exist when determining "developed" status by whichever measure is used.

Countries not fitting such definitions are classified as developing countries.

Similar terms

Terms similar to developed country include advanced country, industrialized country, more developed country (MDC), more economically developed country (MEDC), Global North country, first world country, and post-industrial country. The term industrialized country may be somewhat ambiguous, as industrialization is an ongoing process that is hard to define. The term MEDC is one used by modern geographers to specifically describe the status of the countries referred to: more economically developed. The first industrialised country was England, followed by Belgium (Wallonia), Germany, United States, France, the remainder of the United Kingdom and other Western European countries. According to economists such as Jeffrey Sachs, however, the current divide between the developed and developing world is largely a phenomenon of the 20th century.


Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, defined a developed country as follows. " A developed country is one that allows all its citizens to enjoy a free and healthy life in a safe environment." But according to the United Nations Statistics Division,
:There is no established convention for the designation of "developed" and "developing" countries or areas in the United Nations system.
And it notes that
: The designations "developed" and developing" are intended for statistical convenience and do not necessarily express a judgement about the stage reached by a particular country or area in the development process.
The UN also notes
: In common practice, Japan in Asia, Canada and the United States in northern America, Australia and New Zealand in Oceania, and Europe are considered "developed" regions or areas. In international trade statistics, the Southern African Customs Union is also treated as a developed region and Israel as a developed country; countries emerging from the former Yugoslavia are treated as developing countries; and countries of eastern Europe and of the Commonwealth of Independent States (code 172) in Europe are not included under either developed or developing regions.

According to the classification from IMF before April 2004, all the countries of Eastern Europe (including Central European countries which still belongs to "Eastern Europe Group" in the UN institutions) as well as the former Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.) countries in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan) and Mongolia, were not included under either developed or developing regions, but rather were referred to as "countries in transition"; however they are now widely regarded (in the international reports) as "developing countries".
In the 21st century, the original Four Asian Tigers which are thehttp://www.businesspme.com/uk/articles/economics/78/East-Asian-Tigers-.html regions (Hong Kong, Taiwan and the countries Singapore and South Korea) are considered "developed" region or areas, along with Cyprus, Israel, and Slovenia, considered "newly developed countries".

Human Development Index

World map showing the Human Development Index as presented by the United Nations in 2008.

The UN HDI is a statistical measure that gauges a country's level of human development. While there is a strong correlation between having a high HDI score and a prosperous economy, the UN points out that the HDI accounts for more than income or productivity. Unlike GDP per capita or per capita income, the HDI takes into account how income is turned "''into education and health opportunities and therefore into higher levels of human development''." A few examples are Italy and the United States. Despite a relatively large difference in GDP per capita, both countries rank roughly equal in term of overall human development. Since 1980, Norway (2001-2006 and 2009), Japan (1990-91 and 1993), Canada (1992 and 1994-2000) and Iceland (2007-08) have had the highest HDI score. Countries with a score of over 0.800 are considered to have a "high" standard of human development. The top 38 countries have scores ranging from 0.902 in Malta to 0.971 in Norway.

Many countries listed by IMF or CIA as "advanced" (as of 2009), possess an HDI over 0.9 (as of 2007). Many countries possessing an HDI of 0.9 and over (as of 2007), are also listed by IMF or CIA as "advanced" (as of 2009). Thus, many "advanced economies" (as of 2009) are characterized by an HDI score of 0.9 or higher (as of 2007).

The latest index was released on October 5, 2009 and covers the period up to 2007. The following are the 38 countries classified as possessing a "Very high human development" with an HDI at or above 0.900.

  1. 0.971 ()

  2. 0.970 ()

  3. 0.969 ()

  4. 0.966 ()

  5. 0.965 ()

  6. 0.964 ( 1)

  7. 0.963 ( 1)

  8. 0.961 ( 3)

  9. 0.960 ()

  10. 0.960 ()

  11. 0.960 ( 3)

  12. 0.959 ( 1)

  13. 0.956 ( 1)

  1. 0.955 ( 2)

  2. 0.955 ()

  3. 0.955 ( 2)

  4. 0.953 ()

  5. 0.951 ( 1)

  6. 0.951 ( 1)

  7. 0.950 ()

  8. 0.947 ()

  9. 0.947 ()

  10. 0.944 ( 1)

  11. 0.944 ( 1)

  12. 0.942 ()

  13. 0.937 ()

  1. 0.935 ( 1)

  2. 0.934 ( 1)

  3. 0.929 ()

  4. 0.920 ()

  5. 0.916 ()

  6. 0.914 ()

  7. 0.910 ( 1)

  8. 0.909 ( 1)

  9. 0.903 ( 2)

  10. 0.903 ()

  11. 0.903 ( 2)

  12. 0.902 ( 3)

Other lists of Developed Countries

Only three institutions have produced lists of "developed countries". The three institutionsand their lists are the UN list (shown above), the CIA list and the FTSE Group's list, whose list is not included because its association of developed countries with countries with both high incomes and developed markets is not deemed as directly relevant here. However many institutions have created lists which are sometimes referred to when people are discussing developed countries. The IMF identifies 34 "advanced economies", The OECD, also widely known as the 'developed countries club'
has 30 members. The World Bank identifies 66 "high income countries". The EIU's Quality-of-life survey and a list of countries with welfare states are also included here. The criteria for using all these list and for countries inclusion on these lists is often not properly spelt out and several of these lists are based on old data.

IMF advanced economy list

According to the International Monetary Fund the following 34 countries are classified as "advanced economies":[http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2009/02/weodata/groups.htm#ae IMF Advanced Economies List. World Economic Outlook, Database—WEO Groups and Aggregates Information, October 2009.]

The CIA has a modified version of an old version of the IMF's list of Advanced Economies. The CIA notes that the IMF's Advanced Economies list "would presumably also cover" some smaller countries. They are:

The CIA list does not include Cyprus, Czech Republic, Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia which have all been added to the IMF's list since the CIA's made its presumptions about the IMF list.

High-income OECD members

There are 27 High-income OECD members, although there are three other OECD members (Mexico, Poland and Turkey) that are not high-income members. The CIA, in its developed country list, implies that developed countries are the OECD members plus Bermuda, Israel, South Africa, and the European ministates. As of 2009, the High-income OECD membership is as follows:

21 countries in Europe:

2 countries in Asia:

2 countries in North America:

2 countries in Oceania:

World Bank high-income economies

"High income economies" are defined by the World Bank as countries with a Gross National Income per capita of $11,906 or more in 2008. According to the United Nations definition some high income countries may also be developing countries. Thus, a high income country may be classified as either developed or developing.

According to the World Bank, the following 67 countries and territories are classified as "high-income economies":[http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/DATASTATISTICS/0,,contentMDK:20421402~pagePK:64133150~piPK:64133175~theSitePK:239419,00.html#High_income World Bank - Country Groups.] Accessed on July 11, 2009[http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/DATASTATISTICS/0,,contentMDK:20420458~menuPK:64133156~pagePK:64133150~piPK:64133175~theSitePK:239419,00.html World Bank - Country Classification.] Accessed on October 12, 2008, last paragraph, line 4.[http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/CLASS.XLS Country classification table], World Bank. Accessed on line December 22, 2008.