Developed countries are countries that have a high level of economic and industrial development. They also have a high standard of living, with access to education, health care, and other amenities. Developed countries typically have a large middle class and a small number of poor people.
As per the united nations, The Human Development Index (HDI) is a summary measure of average achievement in key dimensions of human development. Countries with an HDI score of 0.8 or more are classified as developed countries.
What are developed countries?
A developed country is a sovereign country that has a well-developed economy, high standard of living, high-tech infrastructure, and is a leader in multiple industrial and technological sectors. Such a country is also understood as an industrialized country, more economically developed country (MEDC), high-income country, or advanced country.
Developed countries have a per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than $12,000, and they score highly on the United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI), which assesses health, education, and standard of living.
Criteria for being a Developed Country
1. Human Development Index
Developed countries have a high human development index. This is measured by the United Nations and looks at factors such as life expectancy, education levels, and standard of living. A country needs an HDI score of 0.8 or above to be classed as developed.
2. High-income economies
Developed countries have a high income per capita. This is measured by the World Bank and means that a country has a GNI (Gross National Income) per capita of $12,736 or more.
3. Development Assistance Committee members
Developed countries are members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). This is a group of countries that provides development assistance to other countries. Members of the DAC must have a GNI per capita of $12,536 or more.
4. Developed country members of the OECD
Developed countries are also members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). This is an international organization that promotes democracy and free-market economics. All OECD member countries are classed as developed.
5. Developed market economies
Developed countries have developed market economies. This means that they have a mix of private and state-owned businesses and that there is a large middle class with disposable income. Developed countries typically score well on measures of economic freedom, such as the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom.
6. Technologically advanced
Developed countries are technologically advanced, with a high level of industrialization and a wide range of technology available. They tend to be leaders in multiple industrial and technological sectors.
7. Well-developed infrastructure
Developed countries have a well-developed infrastructure, with a good road and rail network, an efficient healthcare system, and reliable utilities.
8. Low levels of poverty
Developed countries have low levels of poverty, with a small number of people living below the poverty line. Poverty is measured using the World Bank’s poverty headcount ratio, which looks at the percentage of people living on less than $1.90 per day (in 2011 prices).
9. GDP per Capita
Developed countries have a high GDP per capita, which is a measure of the total value of all goods and services produced in a country divided by the number of people in that country. A country with a GDP per capita of $30,000 or more is classed as developed.
10. High life expectancy
Developed countries have a high life expectancy, with citizens living long and healthy lives. This is often attributed to factors such as good healthcare and diet. The life expectancy at birth in developed countries is typically around 80 years.
11. High levels of education
Developed countries have high levels of education, with a large percentage of the population having completed tertiary education. This is often reflected in a country’s literacy rate, which is the percentage of the population aged 15 and above who can read and write. Developed countries typically have a literacy rate of 99%.
12. Political stability
Developed countries are politically stable, with a democratically elected government and a respect for human rights. They tend to have a low level of corruption and a well-functioning legal system.
13. Low levels of crime
Developed countries have low levels of crime, with a low rate of violent crime and a high rate of clearances (crimes where the offender is caught and convicted). This is often attributed to factors such as a well-functioning police force and judiciary.
14. Economic stability
Developed countries have stable economies, with low levels of inflation and unemployment. They tend to be less reliant on exports and have a diversified economy. Developed countries are also more resilient to economic shocks, such as an oil price shock or a financial crisis.
15. High standard of living
Developed countries have a high standard of living, with citizens enjoying a good level of disposable income and access to essential services. This is often reflected in measures of human development, such as the Human Development Index (HDI). The HDI is a measure of life expectancy, educational attainment, and income. Developed countries typically have an HDI of 0.9 or higher.
Developed countries have a population of 50 million or more. This is often attributed to factors such as a high standard of living and good healthcare, which lead to low levels of mortality. Developed countries also tend to have a lower birth rate, as families choose to have fewer children.
Developed countries are urbanized, with a large percentage of the population living in cities and towns. This is often attributed to factors such as economic opportunity and access to services. Developed countries typically have an urbanization rate of 70% or higher.
Developed countries have a developed media, with a high level of freedom and diversity. This is often reflected in measures of press freedom, such as the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index. Developed countries typically have a press freedom index of 20 or higher.
19. Access to healthcare
Developed countries have good access to healthcare, with a high level of coverage and quality. This is often reflected in measures of health outcomes, such as life expectancy and infant mortality. Developed countries typically have a life expectancy of 80 years or more, and an infant mortality rate of 5 per 1,000 live births or less.
20. Access to education
Developed countries have good access to education, with a high level of coverage and quality. This is often reflected in measures of educational attainment, such as the literacy rate and the percentage of the population with a tertiary education. Developed countries typically have a literacy rate of 99% or more, and a tertiary education rate of 40% or more.
Examples of Developed Countries as per GDP
1. United States
The United States has the largest economy in the world, with a GDP of $20.58 trillion.
China is the second-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of $13.61 trillion.
Japan is the third-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of $5.15 trillion.
Germany is the fourth-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of $4.24 trillion.
5. United Kingdom
The United Kingdom is the fifth-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of $2.62 trillion.
Developed Countries as per HDI
Norway has the highest HDI in the world, with a score of 0.953.
Australia has the second-highest HDI in the world, with a score of 0.939.
Switzerland has the third-highest HDI in the world, with a score of 0.936.
Germany has the fourth-highest HDI in the world, with a score of 0.935.
Denmark has the fifth-highest HDI in the world, with a score of 0.933.
Developed Countries vs Developing Countries
Developed countries are often compared to developing countries, as they share many common features. However, there are also some key differences between the two groups of countries.
Developed countries tend to have a higher GDP per capita, a higher HDI, and a higher level of urbanization than developing countries. They also tend to have a higher standard of living, with more citizens enjoying access to essential services. Finally, developed countries typically have a lower birth rate than developing countries.
A developing country, on the other hand, tends to have a higher birth rate than developed countries. This is often attributed to factors such as poverty and lack of access to contraception. Developing countries also have a lower life expectancy than developed countries, as they typically have poorer healthcare and higher levels of mortality.
Finally, developing countries tend to be less urbanized than developed countries, with a smaller percentage of the population living in cities and towns.
Most Developed vs Least Developed Countries
The United Nations classifies countries into three categories: developed, developing, and least developed. Developed countries are further divided into two subcategories: more developed and less developed.
More developed countries (MDCs) are typically characterized by high levels of GDP per capita, life expectancy, and educational attainment. They also tend to have low levels of poverty and child mortality. Some examples of MDCs include the United States, Canada, Japan, and most of Europe.
Less developed countries (LDCs) are typically characterized by low levels of GDP per capita, life expectancy, and educational attainment. They also tend to have high levels of poverty and child mortality. Some examples of LDCs include Afghanistan, Haiti, and Uganda.
The least developed countries (LLDCs) are the poorest and most vulnerable countries in the world. They tend to have very low levels of GDP per capita, life expectancy, and educational attainment. They also have high levels of poverty and child mortality. Some examples of LLDCs include the Central African Republic, Chad, and Somalia.
What roles do Developed countries play in the World?
Developed countries play an important role in the world economy. They are typically the largest markets for goods and services, and they also tend to be the most innovative and productive economies. Developed countries are also typically the biggest donors of development assistance, providing funds to help developing countries grow and prosper.
Developed countries also play a key role in international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. These organizations set global standards and provide financial assistance to member countries. Developed countries often have a disproportionate amount of power in these organizations, which can be used to promote their own interests at the expense of other countries.
Finally, developed countries often have strong militaries that can be used to influence events in other parts of the world. Developed countries have been involved in many wars and military interventions in recent years, often with devastating consequences for the countries involved.
What challenges do Developed countries face?
Developed countries face a number of challenges, both internal and external.
Internally, developed countries often struggle with high levels of inequality. This can lead to social unrest and political instability. Developed countries also face challenges related to their ageing populations. As people live longer and have fewer children, developed countries are struggling to maintain their population levels. This has implications for the economy, as there will be fewer workers to support the growing number of retirees.
Externally, developed countries often face criticism for their role in the world economy. Developed countries are often accused of exploiting developing countries, both economically and politically. Developed countries are also criticized for their environmental record. They are typically the biggest polluters, and they are often seen as not doing enough to combat climate change.
Finally, developed countries are often the targets of terrorist attacks. This is because terrorists see developed countries as symbols of Western imperialism and oppression. Developed countries have been the target of some of the deadliest terrorist attacks in recent years, including the September 11th attacks in the United States and the attacks in Paris, France.
Developed countries are those that have a high level of industrialization and economic development. They typically have a per capita income above a certain threshold, which is set by the World Bank. Most developed countries are typically members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
While lower-middle-income countries and low-income countries are often lumped together as “developing countries”, there is a big difference between the two. Developing countries are not all in the same stage of economic development.
What do you think when you hear the term “developed countries?” Share your definition in the comments below.