Third World Countries 2019
What is a third world country? Recently, third world countries can be defined by high poverty rates, economic instability, and lack of basic human resources compared to the rest of the world.
The term “Third World countries” was first used during the Cold War. This term was used to describe countries that were not aligned with the Communist Bloc or NATO or that were neutral. This term was first used to categorize countries into three groups based on their politics and economics.
During the Cold War, the United States, Canada, South Kora, Japan, and Western European nations and allies were categorized as First World countries. Second World countries included China, Cuba, the Soviet Union and their allies. Third World countries typically had colonial pasts in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Oceania.
After the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the terminology of the “three worlds” has changed somewhat. Today, the term Third World is used to describe a country that is not developed as much as other countries and faces economic, social, political, environmental and other issues. This has led to some confusion as to how the term was originally used. For example, there were several European countries that were not aligned with NATO or the Communist Bloc that are quite prosperous today. Going by the historical definition, nations including Finland, Sweden, Ireland and Switzerland were Third World countries. Based on the definition that is used today, these would not be considered Third World countries. Instead, what many now interpret “Third World” to mean encompasses economically poor and non-industrialized countries, as well as newly industrialized countries.
The use of the term “Third World” is being used less frequently because of the confusion about its definition. Instead, it is being replaced with terms including least developed countries, developing countries and the Global South. The Least Developed Countries, or LDCs, are based on United Nations data that have the lowest socioeconomic development and Human Development Index ratings. These countries have weaknesses in areas including nutrition, education and literacy, have economic vulnerabilities, and have widespread poverty.
As of 2018, there are several LDCs. These include in alphabetical order:
- Afghanistan, Angola
- Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi
- Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros
- Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti
- East Timor, Eritrea, Ethiopia
- Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau
- Laos, Lesotho, Liberia
- Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar
- Nepal, Niger
- Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan
- Tanzania, Togo, Tuvalu
The list is even larger of countries classified as “developing countries.” These countries (in alphabetical order) include:
There are many countries around the world classified as a developing country. This includes (in alphabetical order):
- Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, American Samoa, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan
- Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi
- Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan), Colombia, Comoros, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Congo (Republic of), Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba
- Djibouti, Dominican Republic
- Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia
- Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana
- Haiti, Honduras
- India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraw
- Jamaica, Jordan
- Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Korea (N. Korea), Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic
- Lao PDR, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya
- Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar
- Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria
- Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines
- Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda
- Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic
- Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu
- Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
- Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam
- West Bank and Gaza
- Zambia, Zimbabwe