Developed country

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  Developed countries (IMF)
  Data unavailable

World map showing country classifications per the IMF[1] and the UN[2] (last updated April 2023). "Developed economies" according to this classification scheme are shown in blue. The map does not include classifications by the World Bank.

A developed country, or high-income country,[3][4] is a sovereign state that has a high quality of life, developed economy, and advanced technological infrastructure relative to other less industrialized nations. Most commonly, the criteria for evaluating the degree of economic development are the gross domestic product (GDP), gross national product (GNP), the per capita income, level of industrialization, amount of widespread infrastructure and general standard of living.[5] Which criteria are to be used and which countries can be classified as being developed are subjects of debate. Different definitions of developed countries are provided by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank; moreover, HDI ranking is used to reflect the composite index of life expectancy, education, and income per capita. Another commonly used measure of a developed country is the threshold of GDP (PPP) per capita of at least US$22,000. In 2023, 40 countries fit all four criteria, while an additional 15 countries fit three out of four.

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 2023, advanced economies comprise 57.3% of global GDP based on nominal values and 41.1% of global GDP based on purchasing-power parity (PPP) according to the IMF.[6]

Definition and criteria[edit]

UNCTAD List ABCD
UNCTAD members classifications
  List A
  List B, consisting predominantly of developed countries
  List C
  List D
  To be assigned

Economic criteria have tended to dominate discussions. One such criterion is the income per capita; countries with the 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 of 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]

Nevertheless, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development considers that this categorization can continue to be applied:

The developed economies broadly comprise Northern America and Europe, Israel, Japan and the Republic of Korea, as well as Australia and New Zealand.[11]

Similar terms[edit]

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.[12]

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 countries, all faced with the same laws of nature, yet each with unique features."[13]

A 2021 analysis proposes the term emerged to describe markets, economies, or countries that have graduated from emerging market status, but have not yet reached the level equivalent to developed countries.[14] Multinational corporations from these emerging markets present unique patterns of overseas expansion and knowledge acquisition from foreign countries.

Economy lists by various criteria[edit]

Human Development Index (HDI)[edit]

World map
The world map representing Human Development Index categories (based on 2021 data, published in 2022)
  •   Very high
  •   High
  •   Medium
  •   Low
  •   No data
World map
World map of countries or territories by Human Development Index scores in increments of 0.050 (based on 2021 data, published in 2022)
  •   ≥ 0.950
  •   0.900–0.950
  •   0.850–0.899
  •   0.800–0.849
  •   0.750–0.799
  •   0.700–0.749
  •   0.650–0.699
  •   0.600–0.649
  •   0.550–0.599
  •   0.500–0.549
  •   0.450–0.499
  •   0.400–0.449
  •   ≤ 0.399
  •   Data unavailable

The UN HDI is a statistical measure that gauges an economy's level of human development. While there is a strong correlation between having a high HDI score and being 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, 2009–2019), Japan (1990–1991 and 1993), Canada (1992 and 1994–2000) and Iceland (2007–2008) have had the highest HDI score.

The following countries ranked from 1 to 66 in the year 2021 are considered to be of "very high human development":[15]

Table of countries by HDI
Rank Nation/region HDI
2021 data (2022 report)​[15] Change since 2015​[16] 2021 data (2022 report)​[15] Average annual growth (2010–2021)​[16]
1 Steady   Switzerland 0.962 Increase 0.19%
2 Steady  Norway 0.961 Increase 0.19%
3 Steady  Iceland 0.959 Increase 0.56%
4 Increase (3)  Hong Kong 0.952 Increase 0.44%
5 Increase (3)  Australia 0.951 Increase 0.27%
6 Steady  Denmark 0.948 Increase 0.34%
7 Decrease (2)  Sweden 0.947 Increase 0.36%
8 Increase (6)  Ireland 0.945 Increase 0.40%
9 Decrease (5)  Germany 0.942 Increase 0.16%
10 Decrease (1)  Netherlands 0.941 Increase 0.24%
11 Steady  Finland 0.940 Increase 0.29%
12 Decrease (1)  Singapore 0.939 Increase 0.29%
13 Increase (2)  Belgium 0.937 Increase 0.25%
Decrease (3)  New Zealand Increase 0.15%
15 Decrease (2)  Canada 0.936 Increase 0.25%
16 Decrease (1)  Liechtenstein 0.935 Increase 0.22%
17 Increase (3)  Luxembourg 0.930 Increase 0.18%
18 Decrease (3)  United Kingdom 0.929 Increase 0.17%
19 Steady  Japan 0.925 Increase 0.27%
Increase (3)  South Korea Increase 0.35%
21 Decrease (3)  United States 0.921 Increase 0.10%
22 Steady  Israel 0.919 Increase 0.25%
23 Increase (4)  Malta 0.918 Increase 0.58%
Increase (1)  Slovenia Increase 0.28%
25 Decrease (4)  Austria 0.916 Increase 0.14%
26 Increase (9)  United Arab Emirates 0.911 Increase 0.80%
27 Steady  Spain 0.905 Increase 0.38%
28 Decrease (3)  France 0.903 Increase 0.27%
29 Increase (3)  Cyprus 0.896 Increase 0.41%
30 Decrease (1)  Italy 0.895 Increase 0.13%
31 Decrease (2)  Estonia 0.890 Increase 0.30%
32 Decrease (6)  Czechia 0.889 Increase 0.20%
33 Decrease (2)  Greece 0.887 Increase 0.19%
34 Decrease (1)  Poland 0.876 Increase 0.37%
35 Increase (3)  Bahrain 0.875 Increase 0.73%
Increase (1)  Lithuania Increase 0.35%
Increase (2)  Saudi Arabia Increase 0.64%
38 Increase (2)  Portugal 0.866 Increase 0.40%
39 Increase (1)  Latvia 0.863 Increase 0.42%
40 Decrease (6)  Andorra 0.858 Increase 0.11%
Increase (5)  Croatia Increase 0.40%
42 Increase (1)  Chile 0.855 Increase 0.46%
Increase (1)  Qatar Increase 0.23%
44 NA[Note 1]  San Marino 0.853 NA[Note 1]
45 Decrease (5)  Slovakia 0.848 Increase 0.09%
46 Increase (1)  Hungary 0.846 Increase 0.20%
47 Decrease (4)  Argentina 0.842 Increase 0.09%
48 Increase (6)  Turkey 0.838 Increase 1.03%
49 Increase (3)  Montenegro 0.832 Increase 0.27%
50 Decrease (1)  Kuwait 0.831 Increase 0.20%
51 Decrease (3)  Brunei 0.829 Increase 0.01%
52 Decrease (2)  Russia 0.822 Increase 0.29%
53 Decrease (4)  Romania 0.821 Increase 0.16%
54 Decrease (3)  Oman 0.816 Increase 0.32%
55 Decrease (2)  Bahamas 0.812 Increase 0.00%
56 Increase (4)  Kazakhstan 0.811 Increase 0.51%
57 Decrease (2)  Trinidad and Tobago 0.810 Increase 0.23%
58 Increase (4)  Costa Rica 0.809 Increase 0.43%
Steady  Uruguay Increase 0.25%
60 Decrease (3)  Belarus 0.808 Increase 0.21%
61 Steady  Panama 0.805 Increase 0.37%
62 Increase (1)  Malaysia 0.803 Increase 0.39%
63 Increase (7)  Georgia 0.802 Increase 0.50%
Increase (2)  Mauritius Increase 0.55%
Increase (4)  Serbia Increase 0.41%
66 Increase (6)  Thailand 0.800 Increase 0.75%

High-income economies[edit]

Some institutions have produced lists of developed countries: the UN (list shown above), the CIA,[17] 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.[why?][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".[18][19] The OECD's 37 members are known as the "developed countries club".[20][21][22] The World Bank identifies 81 "high income countries".[23] Other standards, such as the 30-50 Club (GDP per capita over $30,000 and population over 50 million) have been developed to categorize highly developed and influential countries.

World Bank high-income economies[edit]

World Bank high-income economies in 2019

According to the World Bank the following 83 countries and territories are classified as "high-income economies". As of the 2024 fiscal year, high-income economies are those that had a GNI per capita of $13,845 or more in 2022.[24]

37 countries and territories in Europe:

22 countries and territories in the Americas:

15 countries and territories in Asia:

eight countries and territories in Oceania:

one country in Africa:

eight former high-income economies:[25]

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

# Dissolved on 10 October 2010, succeeded by Curaçao and Sint Maarten.

High-income OECD members[edit]

According to the World Bank, the following 34 members are classified as "OECD High-Income":[26][27]

26 countries in Europe:

three countries in the Americas:

three countries in Asia:

two countries in Oceania:

Development Assistance Committee members[edit]

Member nations of the Development Assistance Committee

There are 29 OECD member countries and the European Union—in the Development Assistance Committee (DAC),[28] a group of the world's major donor countries that discusses issues surrounding development aid and poverty reduction in developing countries.[29] The following OECD member countries are DAC members:

23 countries in Europe:

two countries in the Americas:

two countries in Asia:

two countries in Oceania:

IMF advanced economies[edit]

  Countries described as Advanced Economies by the IMF

According to the International Monetary Fund, 41 countries and territories are officially listed as "advanced economies",[1][30] with the addition of 7 microstates and dependencies modified by the CIA which were omitted from the IMF version:[17]

29 countries and dependencies in Europe classified by the IMF, 6 others given by the CIA:

seven countries and territories in Asia:

three countries and territories in the Americas classified by the IMF, one territory given by the CIA :

two countries in Oceania:

d The CIA has modified an older version of the IMF's list of 38 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[...]". San Marino (2012) and Andorra (2021) were later included in the IMF's list.[17]

Paris Club members[edit]

Permanent members of the Paris Club

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 in Europe:

three countries in the Americas:

three countries in Asia:

one country in Oceania:

Comparative table (2023)[edit]

Comparative table of countries with a "very high" human development (0.800 or higher), according to UNDP; "advanced" economies, according to the IMF; "high income" economies, according to the World Bank; and income per capita (purchasing power parity) higher than $25,000, according to the IMF.

Developed countries
Countries HDI[31] IMF[32] WB[24] Per capita PPP 2023[33]
2023
 Croatia Yes since 2007 Yes since 2023 Yes since 2017 Yes since 2016
2021
 San Marino Yes since 2021 Yes since 2012 Yes since 2000 Yes before 2004
2020
 Andorra Yes since 2003 Yes since 2020 Yes since 1990 Yes before 2010
2016
 Latvia Yes since 2005 Yes since 2014 Yes since 2012 Yes since 2016
2015
 Lithuania Yes since 2005 Yes since 2015 Yes since 2012 Yes since 2013
2013
 Greece Yes since 2001 Yes since 1989[34] Yes since 1996 Yes since 2013
2012
 Estonia Yes since 2003 Yes since 2011 Yes since 2006 Yes since 2012
2011
 Slovakia Yes since 2006 Yes since 2009 Yes since 2007 Yes since 2011
2009
 Czech Republic Yes since 2001 Yes since 2009 Yes since 2006 Yes since 2006
2008
 Malta Yes since 2003 Yes since 2008 Yes since 2002 Yes since 2007
 Liechtenstein Yes since 2000 Yes since 2008 Yes since 1990 Yes since 1987[35]
 Monaco Yes before 1990[36] Yes since 2008 Yes before 1990 Yes since 1987[37]
2007
 Slovenia Yes since 1998 Yes since 2007 Yes since 1997 Yes since 2006
 Portugal Yes since 2005 Yes since 1989[34] Yes since 1994 Yes since 2007
2006
 Israel Yes since 1991 Yes since 1997[38] Yes since 1987 Yes since 2006
 South Korea Yes since 1999 Yes since 1997[38] Yes since 2001 Yes since 2006
2003
 New Zealand Yes before 1990 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 2003
2002
 Cyprus Yes since 2001 Yes since 2001 Yes since 1988 Yes since 2002
 Taiwan N/A[Note 4] Yes since 1997[38] Yes since 1987 Yes since 2002
2001
 Spain Yes since 1995 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 2001
1999
 Singapore Yes since 1999 Yes since 1997[38] Yes since 1987 Yes since 1991
 Finland Yes since 1994 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1999
 United Kingdom Yes since 1992 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1999
1998
 Ireland Yes since 1996 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1998
 Iceland Yes before 1990 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1998
 Sweden Yes before 1990 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1998
 France Yes since 1993 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1998
1997
 Australia Yes before 1990 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1997
 Belgium Yes before 1990 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1997
 Canada Yes before 1990 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1997
1996
 Italy Yes since 1995 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1996
 Austria Yes since 1992 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1996
 Germany Yes before 1990 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1996
 Japan Yes before 1990 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1996
1995
 Netherlands Yes before 1990 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1995
1994
 Denmark Yes since 1991 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1994
1992
 Luxembourg Yes since 1992 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1986
 United States Yes before 1990 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1992
1988
 Norway Yes before 1990 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1988
1987
  Switzerland Yes before 1990 Yes since 1945 Yes since 1987 Yes since 1986
In process
Countries HDI[31] IMF[32] WB[24] per capita PPP 2023[33]
 Uruguay Yes since 2014 No Yes since 2012 Yes since 2022
 Chile Yes since 2007 No Yes since 2012 Yes since 2021
 Trinidad and Tobago Yes since 2021 No Yes since 2006 Yes since 2006
 Romania Yes since 2013 No Yes since 2021 Yes since 2017
 Panama Yes since 2019 No Yes since 2021 Yes since 2015
 Bahamas Yes since 2016 No Yes since 1987 Yes since 1999
 Hungary Yes since 2005 No Yes since 2014 Yes since 2014
 Poland Yes since 2003 No Yes since 2009 Yes since 2014
 Kuwait Yes since 2014 No Yes since 1987 Yes since 1992
 Bahrain Yes since 2012 No Yes since 2001 Yes since 1983
 Oman Yes since 2012 No Yes since 2007 Yes since 1990
 Saudi Arabia Yes since 2010 No Yes since 2004 Yes before 1980
 United Arab Emirates Yes since 2004 No Yes since 1987 Yes before 1980
 Brunei Yes since 1999 No Yes since 1990 Yes before 1985
 Qatar Yes since 1996 No Yes since 1987 Yes before 1980
Other recognitions
Countries HDI[31] IMF[32] WB[24] per capita PPP 2023[33]
 Serbia Yes since 2019 No No Yes since 2023
 Costa Rica Yes since 2019 No No Yes since 2022
 Mauritius Yes since 2019 No No Yes since 2022
 Argentina Yes since 2006 No No Yes since 2022
 Montenegro Yes since 2013 No No Yes since 2022
 Bulgaria Yes since 2015 No No Yes since 2021
 Kazakhstan Yes since 2015 No No Yes since 2018
 Malaysia Yes since 2016 No No Yes since 2017
 Saint Kitts and Nevis No No Yes since 2012 Yes since 2017
 Russia Yes since 2013 No No Yes since 2017
 Seychelles No No Yes since 2014 Yes since 2016
 Turkey Yes since 2015 No No Yes since 2015
 Barbados No No Yes since 2006 No
 Dominican Republic No No No Yes since 2023
 Guyana No No Yes since 2022 Yes since 2022
 Thailand Yes since 2021 No No No
 Maldives No No No Yes since 2021
 Georgia Yes since 2019 No No No
 Nauru No data No Yes since 2019 No
 Antigua and Barbuda No No Yes since 2012 Yes since 2023
 Belarus Yes since 2012 No No No

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b HDI not available before 2018 in latest report
  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 (China), Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the United States."
  3. ^ Geographically a part of Asia, geopolitically a part of Europe.
  4. ^ The HDI annual report compiled by the UNDP does not include Taiwan because it is no longer a UN member state, and is neither included as part of the People's Republic of China by the UNDP when calculating data for China.[39] Taiwan's Statistical Bureau calculated its HDI to be 0.926 based on UNDP's 2010 methodology,[40][41] which would place Taiwan well within the group of "Very high human development" at 19th globally in 2021 within the 2022 UNDP report.[42][43]

References[edit]

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  22. ^ http://datahelpdesk.worldbank.org/knowledgebase/articles/906519-world-bank-country-and-lending-groups Archived 28 October 2019 at the Wayback Machine , World Bank. Accessed on 15 July 2023.
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External links[edit]