Developed country

A developed country, industrialized country, more developed country, or more economically developed country (MEDC), is a sovereign state that has a developed economy and advanced technological infrastructure relative to other less industrialized nations. Most commonly, the criteria for evaluating the degree of economic development are gross domestic product (GDP), gross national product (GNP), the per capita income, level of industrialization, amount of widespread infrastructure and general standard of living.[2] Which criteria are to be used and which countries can be classified as being developed are subjects of debate.

Developed countries have generally more advanced post-industrial economies, meaning the service sector provides more wealth than the industrial sector. They are contrasted with developing countries, which are in the process of industrialisation or are pre-industrial and almost entirely agrarian, some of which might fall into the category of Least Developed Countries. As of 2015, advanced economies comprise 60.8% of global GDP based on nominal values and 42.9% of global GDP based on purchasing-power parity (PPP) according to the International Monetary Fund.[3]

Similar terms

Terms linked to the concept 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 industrialisation is an ongoing process that is hard to define. The first industrialized country was the United Kingdom, followed by Belgium. Later it spread further to 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.[4]. Mathis Wackernagel calls the binary labeling of countries as "neither descriptive nor explanatory. It is merely a thoughtless and destructive endorsement of GDP fetish. In reality, there are not two types of countries, but over 200 different countries, all faced with the same laws of nature, yet each with unique features."[5]

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 industrialisation; 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. The index, however, does not take into account several factors, such as the net wealth per capita or the relative quality of goods in a country. This situation tends to lower the ranking for some of the most advanced countries, such as the G7 members and others.[7][8]

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.[9]

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.[10]

Human Development Index (HDI)

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, 2009–2018), Japan (1990–1991 and 1993), Canada (1992 and 1994–2000) and Iceland (2007–2008) have had the highest HDI score.

Many countries listed by IMF as "advanced", possess an HDI over 0.800, the threshold for "very high" human development. Many countries[Note 1] possessing an HDI of 0.800 and over are also listed by IMF as "advanced". Thus, many "advanced economies" are characterized by an HDI score of 0.800 or higher. Since April 2016, the IMF classifies Macau as an advanced economy.[11]

The 2018 Human Development Report by the United Nations Development Programme was released on 14 September 2018, and calculates HDI values based on estimates for 2017. Below is the list of the "very high human development" countries:[12]

  • = increase.
  • = steady.
  • = decrease.
  • The number in parentheses represents the number of ranks the country has climbed (up or down) relative to the ranking in the year of 2016.

As a non-UN member, the government of Taiwan calculates its own HDI, which had a value of 0.907 in 2017,[13] ranked 21 globally. Additionally, while the HDI for the Chinese special administrative region of Hong Kong is calculated by the UN, it is not for Macau. The Macanese government calculated the territory's HDI to be 0.868 in 2011. These values place both Taiwan and Macau well within the list of countries with "Very high human development".[14] Furthermore, in 2009 a United Nations project calculated the HDI for all of its members, as well as Taiwan, Macau, and many dependent territories. The HDI values for the countries of San Marino and Monaco, which have not been included in official annual HDI reports, were found to be at 0.961 and 0.956 respectively. This places both countries firmly within the category of countries with "Very high human development" as well. The dependent territories with HDI values equivalent to "Very high human development" were: Jersey, Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Norfolk Island, Faroe Islands, Isle of Man, British Virgin Islands, Falkland Islands, Aruba, Puerto Rico, Martinique, Greenland, and Guam.[15] Of note, the HDI values in the 2009 report were calculated using the old HDI formula, while HDI values after the year 2010 are calculated with a different formula.

High-income economies

Some institutions have produced lists of developed countries: the UN (list shown above), the CIA,[16] and some providers of stock market indices (the FTSE Group, MSCI, S&P, Dow Jones, STOXX, etc.). The latter is not included here because its association of developed countries with countries with both high incomes and developed markets is not deemed as directly relevant.[Note 2]

However many other institutions have created more general lists referred to when discussing developed countries. For example, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) identifies 39 "advanced economies".[11][17] The OECD's 36 members are known as the "developed countries club".[18][19][20] The World Bank identifies 81 "high income countries".[21]

World Bank high-income economies

According to the World Bank the following 81 countries (including territories) are classified as "high-income economies".[21] As of 2018, high-income economies are those that had a GNI per capita of $12,056 or more – in 2017.

36 countries and territories wholly or partly in Europe:

19 countries and territories wholly or partly in the Americas:

15 countries and territories wholly or partly in Asia:

7 countries and territories wholly or partly in Oceania:

1 country wholly or partly in Africa:

c Between 1994 and 2009, as part of the  Netherlands Antilles.

High-income OECD members

According to the World Bank, the following 34 members are classified as "OECD High-Income":[22][23]

26 countries wholly or partly in Europe:

3 countries wholly or partly in Asia:

3 countries in the Americas:

2 countries wholly or partly in Oceania:

Development Assistance Committee members

There are 29 OECD member countries and the European Union—in the Development Assistance Committee (DAC),[24] a group of the world's major donor countries that discuss issues surrounding development aid and poverty reduction in developing countries.[25] The following OECD member countries are DAC members:

23 countries wholly or partly in Europe:

2 countries wholly or partly in Asia:

2 countries wholly or partly in the Americas:

2 countries wholly or partly in Oceania:

IMF advanced economies

According to the International Monetary Fund, the following 39 economies are classified as "advanced economies":[11]

33 countries and territories wholly or partly in Europe:

8 countries and territories in Asia:

4 countries and territories in the Americas:

2 countries in Oceania-Antarctica:

d 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 the following nine smaller countries of Andorra, Bermuda, Faroe Islands, Guernsey, Holy See, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Monaco, and San Marino[...]"[16]

Paris Club members

There are 22 permanent members in the Paris Club (French: Club de Paris), a group of officials from major creditor countries whose role is to find coordinated and sustainable solutions to the payment difficulties experienced by debtor countries.

15 countries wholly or partly in Europe:

3 countries wholly or partly in Asia:

3 countries in the Americas:

1 country in Oceania:

Comparative Table (2019)

Comparative table of countries with "very high" human development (same or higher than 0.800), according to UNDP; members OECD; "advanced" economies, according to IMF; "high income" economies, according to World Bank and income per capita (purchasing power parity) higher than $22,000, according to the IMF. (oz)

Developed Countries
CountriesHDI [1]OECD [26]IMF [27]WB [28] per capita PPP[29]
2018
 LithuaniaYes since 2005 Yes since 2018Yes since 2015 Yes since 2012 Yes since 2011
2016
 LatviaYes since 2005 Yes since 2016Yes since 2014 Yes since 2012 Yes since 2013
2011
 EstoniaYes since 2003 Yes since 2010Yes since 2011 Yes since 2006 Yes since 2011
2010
 IsraelYes since 1991 Yes since 2010Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 2004
 SloveniaYes since 1998 Yes since 2010Yes since 2007 Yes since 1997 Yes since 2004
2009
 Czech RepublicYes since 2001 Yes since 1995Yes since 2009 Yes since 2006 Yes since 2005
 Slovak RepublicYes since 2006 Yes since 2000Yes since 2009 Yes since 2007 Yes since 2007
2005
 South KoreaYes since 1999 Yes since 1996Yes since 1945 Yes since 2001 Yes since 2005
 PortugalYes since 2005 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1994 Yes since 2004
2002
 GreeceYes since 2001 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1996 Yes since 2002
2001
 New ZealandYes before 1990 Yes since 1973Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 2001
1999
 SpainYes since 1995 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1999
1997
 IrelandYes since 1996 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1997
 FinlandYes since 1994 Yes since 1969Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1997
1996
 IcelandYes before 1990 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1996
 United KingdomYes since 1992 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1996
1995
 SwedenYes before 1990 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1995
 ItalyYes since 1995 Yes since 1962Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1994
1994
 AustraliaYes before 1990 Yes since 1971Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1994
 CanadaYes before 1990 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1994
 BelgiumYes before 1990 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1994
 FranceYes since 1993 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1994
1993
 JapanYes before 1990 Yes since 1964Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1993
1992
 LuxembourgYes since 1992 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1985
 AustriaYes since 1992 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1992
1991
 NetherlandsYes before 1990 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1991
 GermanyYes before 1990Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1991
 DenmarkYes since 1991 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1991
1989
 United StatesYes before 1990 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1989
1987
 NorwayYes before 1990 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1985
  SwitzerlandYes before 1990 Yes since 1961Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1985
Countries to be considered developed (1 pending recognition)
Countries HDI [1] OECD [26] IMF [27] WB [28] per capita PPP [29]
 HungaryYes since 2005 Yes since 1996NoYes since 2014 Yes since 2010
 ChileYes since 2007 Yes since 2010NoYes since 2012 Yes since 2013
 PolandYes since 2003 Yes since 1996NoYes since 2009 Yes since 2011
 MaltaYes since 2003 NoYes since 2008 Yes since 2002 Yes since 2003
 CyprusYes since 2001 NoYes since 2001 Yes since 1988 Yes since 1999
 SingaporeYes since 1999 NoYes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1990
In process (2 pending recognitions)
Countries HDI [1] OECD [26] IMF [27] WB [28] per capita PPP [29]
 CroatiaYes since 2007 NoNoYes since 2017 Yes since 2015
 UruguayYes since 2014 NoNoYes since 2012 Yes since 2017
 BahamasYes since 2016 NoNoYes since 1987 Yes since 1997
 SeychellesYes since 2015NoNoYes since 2014Yes since 2012
 TurkeyYes since 2015Yes since 1961NoNoYes since 2014
 KuwaitYes since 2014 NoNoYes since 1987 Yes before 1980
 BahrainYes since 2012 NoNoYes since 2001 Yes since 1983
 OmanYes since 2012 NoNoYes since 2007 Yes since 1991
 San MarinoNo dataNoYes since 2012 Yes since 2000 Yes before 1980
 Saudi ArabiaYes since 2010 NoNoYes since 2004 Yes before 1980
 United Arab EmiratesYes since 2004 NoNoYes since 1987 Yes before 1980
 BruneiYes since 1999 NoNoYes since 1990 Yes before 1980
 QatarYes since 1996 NoNoYes since 1987 Yes before 1980
Other recognitions
Countries HDI [1] OECD [26] IMF [27] WB [28] per capita PPP [29]
 AndorraYes NoNoYesNo data
 Antigua and BarbudaNoNoNoYesYes since 2014
 ArgentinaYes since 2006 NoNoNoNo
 ArubaNo dataNoNoYesNo data
 BarbadosYes NoNoYesNo
 BermudaNo dataNoNoYesNo data
 BelarusYes NoNoNoNo
 British Virgin IslandsNo dataNoNoYesNo data
 BulgariaYes NoNoNoNo
 Cayman IslandsNo dataNoNoYesNo data
Channel IslandsNo dataNoNoYesNo data
 CuracaoNo dataNoNoYesNo data
 Equatorial GuineaNoNoNoYesYes since 2002
 Faroe IslandsNo dataNoNoYesNo data
 French PolynesiaNo dataNoNoYesNo data
 GibraltarNo dataNoNoYesNo data
 GreenlandNo dataNoNoYesNo data
 GuamNo dataNoNoYesNo data
 Isle of ManNo dataNoNoYesNo data
 KazakhstanYes NoNoNoYes since 2012
 LiechtensteinYes NoNoYesNo data
 MalaysiaYes NoNoNoYes since 2012
 MauritiusNoNoNoYesYes since 2017
 MexicoNoYes since 1994NoNoNo
 MonacoNo dataNoNoYesNo data
 MontenegroYes NoNoNoNo
 New CaledoniaNo dataNoNoYesNo data
 Northern Mariana IslandsNo dataNoNoYesNo data
 PalauYesNoNoYesNo
 PanamaNoNoNoYesYes since 2015
 RomaniaYes NoNoNoYes since 2016
 RussiaYes NoNoNoYes since 2010
 Saint Kitts and NevisNoNoNoYesYes since 2013
 Sint MaartenNo dataNoNoYesNo data
 Trinidad and TobagoNoNoNoYesYes since 2005
 Turks and Caicos IslandsNo dataNoNoYesNo data
 United States Virgin IslandsNo dataNoNoYesNo data

Rankings

Outstanding countries from Comparative table above as "Developed" and "1 and 2 pending recognitions". (oz)

Outstanding countries
# Countries / Cities Quality of living [30] Cost of living [31] HDI [32] per capita PPP [33] Democracy Peace [34] Prosperity [35] Corruption [36] Economic Freedom Heritage [37] Economic Freedom Fraser [38] Competitiveness Doing Business [39] Gay friendly [40] Environmental Performance [41] Happiness [42] Social Progress [43] Global Talent [44] PISA science PISA read PISA maths Mobile internet speed [45] Fixed internet speed Fragile state [46] Growth promise [47] E-gov [48] English skills [49] Cities in motion [50] Press freedom [51] Health [52] Rule of law [53] Labor rights [54]
2019 2019 2019 2018 2019 2019 2019 2019 2019 2019 2019 2019 2019 2018 2019 2019 2019 2018 2018 2018 2019 2019 2019 2019 2019 2019 2019 2019 2018 2019 2019
∑(101-rank)/(#rankings*100)>50% top 100 low top 100 > very high >22000 > score 60 > high > score 60 > score 60 > score 60 < 2nd quartile > score 60 > score 60 > score 6 > score 60 > score 60 > score 60 < 2nd quartile > score 400 > score 400 > score 400 > 20mb > 30mb > very stable > score 6 > very high > high > score 60 > yellow > score 60 > score 60 < rating 2
1  Denmark 8 - 11 21 5 5 1 1 14 13 10 4 4 3 2 2 5 25 19 13 14 19 4 4 1 4 8 5 17 1 12
2  Sweden 23 - 8 17 3 18 4 3 19 35 8 10 1 5 7 5 7 20 11 17 12 10 9 8 5 2 13 3 8 4 12
3  Norway 25 - 1 7 1 20 2 7 26 32 17 9 4 14 3 1 4 28 20 19 4 16 2 7 14 3 14 1 2 2 12
4  Netherlands 11 - 10 14 11 17 6 8 13 25 4 42 4 18 5 11 8 16 27 9 6 22 13 2 13 1 3 4 3 5 12
5  Finland 31 - 12 27 8 14 5 3 20 21 11 20 4 10 1 4 6 7 6 16 19 37 1 6 6 7 22 2 6 3 12
6  New Zealand 15 - 14 34 4 2 7 2 3 3 19 1 4 17 8 7 11 13 11 28 13 20 8 9 8 1 26 7 16 8 36
7   Switzerland 14 - 2 10 10 11 3 3 4 4 5 36 17 1 6 3 1 24 28 11 8 9 3 1 15 19 31 6 7 - 36
8  Canada 19 - 13 24 6 6 14 9 8 8 14 23 1 25 9 9 15 9 6 12 7 11 7 10 23 1 39 18 14 9 -
9  Germany 13 - 4 19 13 22 8 11 24 20 7 22 23 13 17 8 14 16 21 20 41 36 12 11 12 10 9 13 18 6 12
10  Austria 1 - 20 22 16 4 13 14 31 26 21 27 4 8 10 20 18 28 28 22 25 60 14 19 20 8 10 16 13 7 12
11  Singapore 25 - 9 4 66 7 16 3 2 2 1 2 - 49 34 27 2 2 2 2 9 1 17 3 7 5 7 - 22 13 36
12  United Kingdom 41 - 15 29 14 45 11 11 7 7 9 8 4 6 15 13 9 15 15 17 46 41 24 13 4 1 1 33 23 12 -
13  Ireland 33 - 3 5 6 12 12 18 6 6 24 24 17 9 16 14 16 23 8 20 71 38 11 12 22 1 37 15 11 - 12
14  Australia 30 - 6 20 9 13 17 13 5 9 16 14 28 21 11 12 12 16 17 30 2 58 5 15 2 1 - 21 5 11 -
15  Belgium 28 - 17 25 31 18 22 17 48 40 22 46 4 15 18 19 17 20 23 15 10 39 18 16 27 13 48 9 15 14 36
16  France 39 - 26 28 29 60 23 21 71 50 15 72 17 2 24 15 21 25 23 26 21 17 19 21 9 - 4 32 20 17 36
17  Luxembourg 18 - 21 3 12 - 9 9 17 17 18 32 4 7 14 16 10 34 38 34 11 15 10 5 18 9 - 17 4 - -
18  United States 53 - 15 12 25 - 18 22 12 5 2 6 - 27 19 26 3 19 13 38 35 7 26 20 11 1 23 - 29 20 -
19  Japan 49 - 19 31 22 9 19 18 30 17 6 29 - 20 - 10 22 6 15 6 56 21 22 17 10 - 6 - 12 15 36
20  Iceland - - 6 15 2 1 10 14 11 23 26 26 4 11 4 6 13 35 36 26 - - 6 14 19 - - 14 1 - 12
21  Portugal 37 - 40 46 27 3 26 30 62 39 34 39 1 26 - 18 28 27 25 29 57 27 15 27 29 12 44 12 32 22 36
22  Estonia 86 - 30 44 23 37 21 18 15 13 31 18 - 48 - 25 23 5 5 8 24 44 - 18 16 28 65 11 31 10 36
23  South Korea 77 - 22 32 21 55 29 - 29 33 13 5 - 60 - 23 30 8 9 7 1 3 20 23 3 - 12 41 25 18 -
24  Czech Republic 69 - 26 40 34 10 28 - 23 22 32 41 - 33 20 24 25 22 26 22 20 48 25 28 - 23 47 40 28 19 36
25  Slovenia 74 - 24 41 36 8 27 36 58 67 35 37 28 34 44 21 29 14 22 13 29 43 16 29 37 - - 34 21 26 -
26  Spain 46 - 25 33 19 32 25 - 57 36 23 30 4 12 30 17 31 30 - 35 50 18 - 31 17 - 24 29 19 21 -
27  Lithuania 81 - 34 43 36 38 33 - 21 16 39 11 - 29 42 32 35 31 33 35 16 23 27 30 40 21 - 30 45 - 36
28  Poland 82 88 32 48 54 29 36 36 46 59 37 40 - 50 40 33 42 12 10 10 45 32 - 35 33 11 69 - 39 27 -
29  Italy 56 - 29 36 33 39 30 - 80 46 30 58 - 16 36 22 38 39 33 32 49 49 - 39 24 - - 43 9 28 12
30  Malta - - 28 30 18 - 20 - 41 11 38 88 4 4 22 29 26 43 45 39 15 25 23 24 30 - - - 27 - -
31  Israel - - 22 39 30 - 31 34 27 38 20 35 23 19 13 31 20 42 38 42 70 33 - 25 31 - - - 35 - 36
32  Uruguay 78 - 57 65 15 34 39 23 40 70 54 - 17 47 33 41 46 53 49 59 59 55 21 42 34 - - 19 68 23 12

See also

Notes

  1. 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 Archived 7 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine reported (from China Modernization Report 2007): "In 2004... Macau... had reached the level of developed countries". The UNCTAD Archived 10 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine organisation (of the UN), as well as the CIA Archived 9 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine, 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).
  2. The Developed Countries Glossary Archived 20 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine entry reads: "The following countries are classified by FTSE as developed countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium/Luxembourg, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong (People's Republic of China), Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States."

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