Developed country

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A developed country (also known as an industrialised country or more economically developed country (MEDC)) is a country that is more developed in economy and infrastructure than less economically developed countries (LEDCs). The number most used for measuring economic growth is gross domestic product (GDP). Others include per capita income, the level of industrialisation, how much infrastructure there is and the basic standard of living. World leaders often discuss the question of whose countries are the most developed ones,[1]

Developed countries have post-industrial economies, which means that the service sector provides more wealth than the industrial sector. On the other hand, developing countries are in the process of industrialisation and underdeveloped countries are usually farming-based economies.

According to the IF, advanced economies comprised 52.1% of global GDP in 2010.[2] In 2013, the ten largest advanced economies by nominal GDP were the US, Japan, Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Canada, Australia, Spain and South Korea. By PPP GDP, they were the USA, Japan, Germany, France, the UK, Italy, South Korea, Canada, Spain, Australia.[3]

Similar terms[change | change source]

Terms similar to developed country include advanced country, industrialised country, more developed country (MDC), more economically developed country (MEDC), Global North country, first-world country, and post-industrial country. The first industrialised country was the UK, followed by Belgium. Later industrialised countries were Germany, the US, France and other Western European countries. According to Jeffrey Sachs, the current split between the developed and developing world is mostly an event of the 20th century. [4]

Definition and criteria[change | change source]

Economic criteria have tended to dominate discussions. One such criterion (singular of criteria) is income per capita. Countries with high gross domestic product (GDP) per capita would then be described as developed countries. Another economic criterion is industrialisation. Countries in which the service sector and quaternary sectors of industry are most common would then be described as developed countries.

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. 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. The top 47 countries have scores ranging from 0.793 in Barbados to 0.955 in Norway. Many countries possessing an HDI of 0.788 and over (as of 2010), are also listed by IMF or CIA as "advanced" (as of 2009).

References[change | change source]