Third World Countries 2022

map placeholder

What is a Third World country? That depends upon when in history you ask the question. The meaning of "third world" has evolved considerably since it was first used more than half a century ago.

Originally coined by French historian Alfred Sauvy in 1952, "Third World" was part of the "three worlds" label system used to describe a country's political alliances. The "First World" countries were the largely democratic NATO countries such as the United States, Japan, and much of Western Europe. The "Second World" countries were the Communist Bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, China, and their allies. Finally, "Third World" countries were countries that remained neutral and allied with neither side.

However, that meaning changed after the fall of the Soviet Union (and the end of the Cold War) in the early 1990s. "Third World" lost its political root and came to refer to economically poor and non-industrialized countries, as well as newly industrialized countries. Under this modernized definition, Third World countries are those that display economic, social, political, and environmental issues such as high poverty rates, economic instability, and lack of essential human resources compared to the rest of the world.

This shifting definition has led to significant confusion as to which countries could correctly be called Third World today. For example, going by the historical definition, nations such as Finland, Sweden, Ireland, and Switzerland were not aligned with either NATO or the Communist Bloc, and so were Third World countries. However, none of these nations would be considered Third World under the modern definition—they're all too prosperous.

Adding insult to inaccuracy, when used in its modern context, Third World is considered to be a derogatory term that degrades countries which are developing and/or poor.

This combination of confusion and possible insult has made Third World a largely obsolete term. Instead, most modern speakers and writers favor more accurate, inoffensive terms such as "developing countries" and "least developed countries" (calculated by the United Nations) or "low-income countries" (based upon World Bank data).

As such, rather than presenting a list of modern Third World countries, we invite you to scroll down to our list of the world's least developed countries.

Note: The following United Nations Member States were not included in the latest Human Development Index report: North Korea, Monaco, Nauru, San Marino, Somalia, and Tuvalu.

Here are the 10 countries with the lowest human development indexes:

  1. Tuvalu (0)
  2. Somalia (0)
  3. Niger (0.354)
  4. Central African Republic (0.367)
  5. South Sudan (0.388)
  6. Chad (0.404)
  7. Burundi (0.417)
  8. Sierra Leone (0.419)
  9. Burkina Faso (0.423)
  10. Mali (0.427)

Third World Countries 2022

Loading...

Third World Countries 2022

Country Human Development Index 2022 Population
Tuvalu012,066
Somalia016,841,795
Niger0.35426,083,660
Central African Republic0.3675,016,678
South Sudan0.38811,618,511
Chad0.40417,413,580
Burundi0.41712,624,840
Sierra Leone0.4198,306,436
Burkina Faso0.42322,102,838
Mali0.42721,473,764
Liberia0.4355,305,117
Mozambique0.43733,089,461
Eritrea0.443,662,244
Yemen0.45231,154,867
Guinea Bissau0.4552,063,367
DR Congo0.45795,240,792
Guinea0.45913,865,691
Gambia0.462,558,482
Ethiopia0.463120,812,698
Djibouti0.4761,016,097
Malawi0.47720,180,839
Ivory Coast0.49227,742,298
Haiti0.49811,680,283
Afghanistan0.49840,754,388
Sudan0.50245,992,020
Comoros0.503907,419
Togo0.5038,680,837
Senegal0.50517,653,671
Benin0.51512,784,726
Uganda0.51648,432,863
Madagascar0.51929,178,077
Lesotho0.522,175,699
Mauritania0.524,901,981
Rwanda0.52413,600,464
Nigeria0.532216,746,934
Zimbabwe0.53515,331,428
Syria0.53619,364,809
Tanzania0.53863,298,550
Papua New Guinea0.5449,292,169
Solomon Islands0.546721,159
Cameroon0.55627,911,548
Pakistan0.562229,488,994
Nepal0.57430,225,582
Myanmar0.57855,227,143
Angola0.58135,027,343
Cambodia0.58217,168,639
Eswatini0.5881,184,817
Zambia0.58819,470,234
Sao Tome And Principe0.589227,679
Kenya0.5956,215,221
Equatorial Guinea0.5911,496,662
Ghana0.59232,395,450
Laos0.6017,481,023
Vanuatu0.603321,832
Republic of the Congo0.6065,797,805
Bangladesh0.608167,885,689
Kiribati0.612123,419
Bhutan0.612787,941
Honduras0.61710,221,247
Timor Leste0.6251,369,429
Micronesia0.627117,489
India0.641,406,631,776
Namibia0.6472,633,874
Tajikistan0.659,957,464
Guatemala0.6518,584,039
Cape Verde0.654567,678
Guyana0.654794,045
Nicaragua0.6586,779,100
Morocco0.66737,772,756
Kyrgyzstan0.6726,728,271
El Salvador0.6746,550,389
Iraq0.68542,164,965
Palestine0.6865,345,541
Bolivia0.69311,992,656
Vietnam0.69498,953,541
Indonesia0.694279,134,505
Egypt0.696106,156,692
South Africa0.69960,756,135
Philippines0.699112,508,994
Moldova0.74,013,171
Gabon0.7022,331,533
Paraguay0.7027,305,843
Turkmenistan0.7066,201,943
Libya0.7067,040,745
Marshall Islands0.70860,057
Belize0.708412,190
Uzbekistan0.7134,382,084
Samoa0.713202,239
Dominica0.71572,344
Maldives0.717540,985
Botswana0.7172,441,162
Suriname0.72596,831
Saint Vincent And the Grenadines0.723111,551
Tonga0.726107,749
Jamaica0.7322,985,094
Jordan0.73510,300,869
Tunisia0.73512,046,656
Dominican Republic0.73611,056,370
Fiji0.741909,466
Mongolia0.7413,378,078
Saint Lucia0.747185,113
Colombia0.74751,512,762
Peru0.7533,684,208
Ukraine0.75143,192,122
Ecuador0.75218,113,361
China0.7521,448,471,400
Algeria0.75445,350,148
Armenia0.7552,971,966
Thailand0.75570,078,203
Lebanon0.7576,684,849
Azerbaijan0.75710,300,205
Brazil0.759215,353,593
Venezuela0.76129,266,991
Bosnia And Herzegovina0.7683,249,317
Sri Lanka0.7721,575,842
Grenada0.772113,475
Mexico0.774131,562,772
Cuba0.77711,305,652
Saint Kitts And Nevis0.77853,871
Antigua And Barbuda0.7899,509
Georgia0.783,968,738
Trinidad And Tobago0.7841,406,585
Albania0.7852,866,374
Serbia0.7878,653,016
Panama0.7894,446,964
Mauritius0.791,274,727
Turkey0.79185,561,976
Costa Rica0.7945,182,354
Seychelles0.79799,426
Palau0.79818,233
Iran0.79886,022,837
Barbados0.8288,023
Kazakhstan0.819,205,043
Malaysia0.80233,181,072
Kuwait0.8034,380,326
Uruguay0.8043,496,016
Bahamas0.807400,516
Belarus0.8089,432,800
Romania0.81119,031,335
Bulgaria0.8136,844,597
Montenegro0.814627,950
Russia0.816145,805,947
Oman0.8215,323,993
Argentina0.82546,010,234
Croatia0.8314,059,286
Hungary0.8389,606,259
Chile0.84319,250,195
Bahrain0.8461,783,983
Latvia0.8471,848,837
Portugal0.84710,140,570
Brunei0.853445,431
Saudi Arabia0.85335,844,909
Slovakia0.8555,460,193
Qatar0.8562,979,915
Andorra0.85877,463
Lithuania0.8582,661,708
United Arab Emirates0.86310,081,785
Poland0.86537,739,785
Cyprus0.8691,223,387
Greece0.8710,316,637
Estonia0.8711,321,910
Malta0.878444,033
Italy0.8860,262,770
Czech Republic0.88810,736,784
Spain0.89146,719,142
Slovenia0.8962,078,034
France0.90165,584,518
Israel0.9038,922,892
South Korea0.90351,329,899
Luxembourg0.904642,371
Austria0.9089,066,710
Japan0.909125,584,838
Liechtenstein0.91638,387
Belgium0.91611,668,278
New Zealand0.9174,898,203
Finland0.925,554,960
United Kingdom0.92268,497,907
United States0.924334,805,269
Canada0.92638,388,419
Denmark0.9295,834,950
Netherlands0.93117,211,447
Singapore0.9325,943,546
Hong Kong0.9337,604,299
Sweden0.93310,218,971
Iceland0.935345,393
Germany0.93683,883,596
Ireland0.9385,020,199
Australia0.93926,068,792
Switzerland0.9448,773,637
Norway0.9535,511,370

Third World Countries 2022

Sources