Developed country

Developed country

A developed country is a country that has a high level of development[clarification needed] according to some criteria. Which criteria, and which countries are classified as being developed, is a contentious issue. According to the International Monetary Fund, advanced economies comprise 65.8% of global nominal GDP and 52.1% of global GDP (PPP) in 2010[1].

Countries not fitting such definitions are classified as developing countries or undeveloped 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 industrialized country was the United Kingdom, followed by Belgium, Germany, United States, France and other Western European countries. According to some economists such as Jeffrey Sachs, however, the current divide between the developed and developing world is largely a phenomenon of the 20th century.[2]

Definition and criteria

Economic criteria have tended to dominate discussions. One such criterion is income per capita; countries with high gross domestic product (GDP) per capita would thus be described as developed countries. Another economic criterion is industrialization; countries in which the tertiary and quaternary sectors of industry dominate would thus be described as developed. More recently another measure, the Human Development Index (HDI), which combines an economic measure, national income, with other measures, indices for life expectancy and education has become prominent. This criterion would define developed countries as those with a very high (HDI) rating. However, many anomalies exist when determining "developed" status by whichever measure is used.[examples needed]

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."[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]

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."[4]

Human Development Index (HDI)

World map by quartiles of Human Development Index in 2011.
  Very High
  Data unavailable

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."

Since 1990, Norway (2001–2006, 2009–2011), Japan (1990–91 and 1993), Canada (1992 and 1994–2000) and Iceland (2007–08) have had the highest HDI score. The top 47 countries have scores ranging from 0.793 in Barbados to 0.943 in Norway.

Many countries listed by IMF or[6] CIA as "advanced" (as of 2009), possess an HDI over 0.788 (as of 2010). Many countries[7] possessing an HDI of 0.788 and over (as of 2010), 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 2 November 2011 and covers the period up to 2011. The following are the 47 countries in the top quartile and classified as possessing a "Very high human development".[8]

Rank Country HDI
New 2011 Estimates for 2011
Change compared to new 2011 data for 2010[8] New 2011 Estimates for 2011
Change compared to new 2011 data for 2010
1 steady  Norway 0.943 increase 0.002
2 steady  Australia 0.929 increase 0.002
3 steady  Netherlands 0.910 increase 0.001
4 steady  United States 0.910 increase 0.002
5 steady  New Zealand 0.908 steady
6 steady  Canada 0.908 increase 0.001
7 steady  Ireland 0.908 increase 0.001
8 steady  Liechtenstein 0.905 increase 0.001
9 steady  Germany 0.905 increase 0.002
10 steady  Sweden 0.904 increase 0.003
11 steady  Switzerland 0.903 increase 0.002
12 steady  Japan 0.901 increase 0.002
13 increase (1)  Hong Kong 0.898 increase 0.004
14 decrease (-1)  Iceland 0.898 increase 0.002
15 steady  South Korea 0.897 increase 0.003
16 steady  Denmark 0.895 increase 0.002
17 steady  Israel 0.888 increase 0.002
18 steady  Belgium 0.886 increase 0.001
19 steady  Austria 0.885 increase 0.002
20 steady  France 0.884 increase 0.001
21 steady  Slovenia 0.884 increase 0.002
22 steady  Finland 0.882 increase 0.002
23 steady  Spain 0.878 increase 0.002
24 steady  Italy 0.874 increase 0.001
Rank Country HDI
New 2011 Estimates for 2011
Change compared to new 2011 data for 2010[8] New 2011 Estimates for 2011
Change compared to new 2011 data for 2010
25 steady  Luxembourg 0.867 increase 0.002
26 steady  Singapore 0.866 increase 0.002
27 steady  Czech Republic 0.865 increase 0.002
28 steady  United Kingdom 0.863 increase 0.001
29 steady  Greece 0.861 decrease 0.001
30 steady  United Arab Emirates 0.846 increase 0.001
31 steady  Cyprus 0.840 increase 0.001
32 steady  Andorra 0.838 steady
33 steady  Brunei Darussalam 0.838 increase 0.001
34 steady  Estonia 0.835 increase 0.003
35 steady  Slovakia 0.834 increase 0.002
36 steady  Malta 0.832 increase 0.002
37 steady  Qatar 0.831 increase 0.006
38 steady  Hungary 0.816 increase 0.002
39 steady  Poland 0.813 increase 0.002
40 increase (1)  Lithuania 0.810 increase 0.005
41 decrease (-1)  Portugal 0.809 increase 0.001
42 steady  Bahrain 0.806 increase 0.001
43 steady  Latvia 0.805 increase 0.003
44 steady  Chile 0.805 increase 0.003
45 increase (1)  Argentina 0.797 increase 0.003
46 decrease (-1)  Croatia 0.796 increase 0.002
47 steady  Barbados 0.793 increase 0.005

Other lists of developed countries

Only three institutions have produced lists of "developed countries". The three institutions and their lists are the UN list (shown above), the CIA[9] 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.[10] However many institutions have created lists which are sometimes referred to when people are discussing developed countries. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) identifies 35 "advanced economies",[11] The OECD, also widely known as the 'developed countries club'[12][13][14] has 34 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 lists and for countries' inclusion on these lists are often not properly spelt out, and several of these lists are based on old data.

IMF advanced economies

  Countries described as Advanced Economies by the IMF.

According to the IMF the following 35 economies are classified as "advanced economies":[11]

The CIA has modified an older version of the IMF's list of Advanced Economies, noting that the IMF's Advanced Economies list "would presumably also cover"[9] some smaller countries. These include:

 Andorra  Bermuda  Faroe Islands  Holy See  Liechtenstein  Monaco

Development Assistance Committee members

Member nations of the Development Assistance Committee.

There are 24 members — 23 selected OECD member countries and the European Commission—in the Development Assistance Committee,[16] a group of the world's major donor countries that discuss issues surrounding development aid and poverty reduction in developing countries.[17] The following OECD member countries are DAC members:

17 countries in Europe:

2 countries in Asia:

2 countries in North America:

2 countries in Oceania:

1 Joined the DAC in 1961, withdrew in 1974 and re-joined in 1991.

High-income OECD members

There are 31 high-income OECD members.[18] As of 2010, the High-income OECD membership is as follows:

24 countries in Europe:

3 countries in Asia:

2 countries in North America:

2 countries in Oceania:

Economist's quality-of-life survey of 2005

Research about standard of living and quality of life by the Economist Intelligence Unit resulted in a quality-of-life index, covering 111 countries. As of 2005, the top 30 countries are:[19]

  1. Republic of Ireland Ireland
  2. Switzerland Switzerland
  3. Norway Norway
  4. Luxembourg Luxembourg
  5. Sweden Sweden
  6. Australia Australia
  7. Iceland Iceland
  8. Italy Italy
  9. Denmark Denmark
  10. Spain Spain
  1. Singapore Singapore
  2. Finland Finland
  3. United States United States
  4. Canada Canada
  5. New Zealand New Zealand
  6. Netherlands Netherlands
  7. Japan Japan
  8. Hong Kong Hong Kong
  9. Portugal Portugal
  10. Austria Austria
  1. Republic of China Taiwan
  2. Greece Greece
  3. Cyprus Cyprus
  4. Belgium Belgium
  5. France France
  6. Germany Germany
  7. Slovenia Slovenia
  8. Malta Malta
  9. United Kingdom United Kingdom
  10. South Korea South Korea

Newsweek's Quality of Life Index of 2010

Newsweek published in 2010 the "world's best countries" index, measuring "health, education, economy, and politics" in 100 countries. As of 2010, the top 30 countries in terms of quality of life are:[20]

  1.  Norway
  2.  Switzerland
  3.  Luxembourg
  4.  Finland
  5.  Denmark
  6.  Australia
  7.  Germany
  8.  Sweden
  9.  United States
  10.  Canada
  1.  France
  2.  Austria
  3.  Japan
  4.  Netherlands
  5.  Ireland
  6.  New Zealand
  7.  Belgium
  8.  United Arab Emirates
  9.  United Kingdom
  10.  Italy
  1.  Greece
  2.  Spain
  3.  Singapore
  4.  Kuwait
  5.  Israel
  6.  Slovenia
  7.  Portugal
  8.  Czech Republic
  9.  South Korea
  10.  Slovakia

See also


  1. ^ IMF GDP data (September 2011)
  2. ^ Sachs, Jeffrey (2005). The End of Poverty. New York, New York: The Penguin Press. ISBN 1-59420-045-9. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings (footnote C)". United Nations Statistics Division. revised 17 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-30. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ The official classification of "advanced economies" is originally made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF list doesn't deal with non-IMF members. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) intends to follow IMF list but adds few economies which aren't dealt with by IMF due to their not being IMF members. By May 2001, the advanced country list of the CIA was more comprehensive than the original IMF list. However, since May 2001, three additional countries (Cyprus, Malta and Slovenia) have been added to the original IMF list, thus leaving the CIA list not updated.
  7. ^ Namely sovereign states, i.e., excluding Macau: In 2003 the government of Macau calculated its HDI as being 0.909 (the UN does not calculate Macau's HDI); In January 2007, the People's Daily reported (from China Modernization Report 2007): "In 2004... Macau... had reached the level of developed countries". However, Macau is not recognized by any international organisation as a developed/advanced territory, while the UNCTAD organisation (of the UN), as well as the CIA, classify Macau as a "developing" territory. The World Bank classifies Macau as a high income economy (along with developed economies as well as with few developing economies).
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i [1]
  9. ^ a b CIA (2008). "Appendix B. International Organizations and Groups. World Factbook.". Retrieved 2008-04-10. 
  10. ^ The Developed Countries Glossary entry reads: "The following countries are classified by FTSE as developed countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium/Luxembourg, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Korea, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States."
  11. ^ a b IMF Advanced Economies List. World Economic Outlook, April 2011, p. 173
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ [ World Economic Outlook, International Monetary Fund, April 2011, p. 169.
  16. ^,3343,en_2649_34603_1893350_1_1_1_1,00.html
  17. ^ DAC website >> "The DAC in Dates", On the DAC's self-description, see the introductory letter. On other events, refer to the relevant section by date.
  18. ^
  19. ^ The world in 2005: The Economist Intelligence Unit's quality-of-life index, The Economist. Accessed on line January 8, 2007.
  20. ^ The world's best countries: 2010 index, Newsweek. Accessed on line August, 15 2010.

External links

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