From Academic Kids
A developed country enjoys a relatively high standard of living through a strong high-technology diversified economy. Most countries with a high per capita gross domestic product (GDP) are considered developed countries. Some countries, however, have achieved a (usually temporarily) high GDP through natural resource exploitation (e.g., Nauru through phosphorus extraction) without developing the diverse industrial and service-based economy necessary for "developed" status.
Synonyms include industrialised countries, more economically developed countries (MEDC) and the First World. Other terms sometimes used to describe the developed/developing country dichotomy are first world/third world (the term second world referred to communist states during the Cold War); North/South; and industrialized countries/non-industrialized countries. The term Western countries has a similar meaning, but its connotations restrict its usage, especially in Asia.
Different observers and theorists often see different reasons for why certain countries (and not others) enjoy a high level of economic development. Many argue that economic development requires some combination of representative government (or democracy), a free market economic model, and a general lack of corruption. Some hold that rich countries grew wealthy by exploitation of poorer countries in the past, through imperialism and colonialism, or in the present, through the process of globalization.
- In the United Nations system there is no established convention for the designation of "developed" and "developing" countries or areas. In common practice, Japan in Asia, Canada and the United States in North 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; and countries of eastern Europe and the former U.S.S.R. countries in Europe are not included under either developed or developing regions.
The following European Union member states:
- United Kingdom
The following non-EU European countries:
The following non-European countries:
- Some organizations consider the remaining countries of the European Union — those added in 2004, especially Cyprus, Malta, and Slovenia — among the developed countries, but these mostly former-Communist countries are rather newly industrialized nations and some of them (such as Latvia, Lithuania and Poland) remain significantly less affluent than EU-15 countries. All European Union members, however, have a GDP per capita greater than the global average.
- South Korea, another relatively newly industrialized country, does not consider itself as developed. This has led to accusations that it prefers to avoid the obligations placed upon developed nations, and some organizations do not consider it developed.
- Singapore arguably has the least representative government of any high income country, and consequently many lists exclude it.
- Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are considered developed by some organizations; however, the People's Republic of China, a developing country, claims the land of the first, and expresses sovereignty over the latter two.
- South Africa and Turkey are considered developed by some sources; however their GDP per capita clearly places them among the developing countries.
- Despite their high per capita GDP, Brunei and the Middle Eastern countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are generally not considered developed countries because their economies depend overwhelmingly on oil production and export. Some of these countries, especially Bahrain, have begun to diversify their economies and democratize. Similarly, the Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, Trinidad and Tobago, and Saint Kitts and Nevis enjoy a high per capita GDP, but these economies depend overwhelmingly on the tourist industry.
- World Bank (http://www.worldbank.org/data/countryclass/classgroups.htm#High_income)
- The World Factbook (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/appendix/appendix-b.html)
- United Nations Statistics Division (http://unstats.un.org/unsd/cdb/cdb_dict_xrxx.asp?def_code=491) (definition)
- United Nations Statistics Division (http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mi/developed_new.htm) (developed regions)
- IMF (http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/weo/2005/01/data/groups.htm#1)
- List of countries by GDP (nominal) per capita
- List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita
- UN Human Development Indexde:Industrieland