AskDefine | Define developed

Dictionary Definition

developed adj
1 being changed over time so as to be e.g. stronger or more complete or more useful; "the developed qualities of the Hellenic outlook"; "they have very small limbs with only two fully developed toes on each" [ant: undeveloped]
2 (used of societies) having high industrial development; "developed countries" [syn: highly-developed]
3 (of real estate) made more useful and profitable as by building or laying out roads; "condominiums were built on the developed site"

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. (said of a Country): Not primitive; not third world.
  2. mature


(of a Country) Not primitive; not third world
Translations to be checked


  1. past of develop


past tense of develop
past participle of develop

Extensive Definition

The term developed country, or advanced country, is used to categorize countries with developed economies in which the tertiary and quaternary sectors of industry dominate. Countries not fitting this definition may be referred to as developing countries.
This level of economic development usually translates into a high income per capita and a high Human Development Index (HDI). Countries with high gross domestic product (GDP) per capita often fit the above description of a developed economy. However, anomalies exist when determining "developed" status by the factor GDP per capita alone.


Modern terms synonymous with the term developed country or advanced country include industrialized country, more developed country (MDC), more economically developed country (MEDC), Global North country and post-industrial country. The term industrialized country may be somewhat ambiguous, as industrialization is an ongoing process that is hard to define. The term MEDC is one used by modern geographers to specifically describe the status of the countries referred to: more economically developed. The first industrialised country was England, followed by Germany, France, the remainder of the United Kingdom and other Western European countries. According to economists such as Jeffrey Sachs, however, the current divide between the developed and developing world is largely a phenomenon of the 20th century.


In common practice, Canada and the United States in North America, Japan and South Korea in Asia, Australia and New Zealand in Oceania, and most countries in Northern Europe and Western Europe are considered "developed countries". Increasingly, the term "developed countries" is also used to refer to Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan (Republic of China). Although Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China which is a developing country, it is still considered internationally as a separate economic entity as it has its own currency and customs controls. Taiwan (Republic of China) has limited international recognition and its status as a "country" is still debated. In international trade statistics, Israel is also treated as a developed country, and the countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.) countries in Europe are not included under either developed or developing regions.

High income countries

"High income countries" are defined by the World Bank as countries with a Gross National Income per capita of $11,116 or more. According to the United Nations definition some high income countries may also be developing countries. Thus, a high income country may be classified as either developed or developing.
When using GDP/cap to define "developed" status, one must take into account how some countries have achieved a (usually temporarily) high GDP/cap through natural resource exploitation (e.g., Nauru through phosphate extraction and Equatorial Guinea) without developing the diverse industrial and service-based economy necessary for "developed" status — similarly, the Bahamas, Barbados, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis depend overwhelmingly on the tourist industry.
Despite their high per capita GDP, the GCC countries in the Middle East are generally not considered developed countries because their economies depend overwhelmingly on oil production and export; in many cases (notably Saudi Arabia), per capita GDP is also skewed by an unequal distribution of wealth.

Human Development Index

The UN HDI is a statistical measure that gauges a country's level of human development. While there is a strong correlation between having a high HDI score and 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." A few examples are Italy and the United States. Despite a relatively large difference in GDP per capita, both countries rank roughly equal in term of overall human development. Since 1980, Norway (2001-2005), Japan (1991 and 1993), Canada (1985, 1992 and 1994-2000), Iceland (2006 and 2007) and Switzerland (1980) have had the highest HDI score. Countries with a score of over 0.800 are considered to have a "high" standard of human development. The top 30 countries have scores ranging from 0.885 in the Czech Republic to 0.965 in Norway. All countries included in the UN study on the IMF list had a high HDI. Several small countries, such as Andorra, Liechtenstein and Macau were not reviewed by the United Nations. Thus, these countries have not received an official HDI score.
All countries listed by IMF or CIA as "advanced" (as of 2007) - possess an HDI over 0.9 (as of 2004). All countries possessing an HDI of 0.9 and over (as of 2004) - are also listed by IMF or CIA as "advanced" (as of 2007). Thus, all "advanced economies" (as of 2007) are characterized by an HDI score of 0.9 or higher (as of 2004).

Lists of prosperous economies

While there is no official guideline for which country may or may not be considered developed, different institutions have created certain categories for the economically most prosperous countries. The IMF identifies 32 "advanced economies",

CIA advanced economy list

The official classification of "advanced economies" was originally made by the IMF. The CIA intends to follow the IMF but also to add non-IMF members. Thus, until March 2001, the CIA list was more comprehensive than the IMF list. Since 2001, however, Cyprus, and more recently Slovenia and Malta, were added to the IMF list but not to the CIA advanced economy list. Below is the current CIA advanced economy list, consisting of 35 countries:

FTSE Global Equity Index

The FTSE Group classifies countries into three categorizes, the process by which stock markets are classified as either Developed or Emerging markets within the FTSE Global Equity Index Series. The categories are Developed, Advanced Emerging, and Secondary Emerging.
FTSE classification, as of May 2008:
Developed: flagcountry Australia, flagcountry Austria, flagcountry Belgium, flagcountry Luxembourg, flagcountry Canada, flagcountry Denmark, flagcountry Finland, flagcountry France, flagcountry Germany, flagcountry Greece, flagcountry Hong Kong, flagcountry Ireland, flagcountry Israel,flagcountry South Africa, flagcountry South Korea and flagcountry Taiwan, flagcountry Peru, flagcountry Philippines, flagcountry Russia, flagcountry Thailand and flagcountry Turkey.

Quality-of-life survey

Research about standards of living and quality of life by the Economist Intelligence Unit resulted in a quality-of-life index. As of 2005, the 30 countries with the highest index are: flagicon Ireland Ireland flagicon Switzerland Switzerland flagicon Norway Norway flagicon Luxembourg Luxembourg flagicon Sweden Sweden flagicon Australia Australia flagicon Iceland Iceland flagicon Italy Italy flagicon Denmark Denmark flagicon Spain Spain flagicon Singapore Singapore flagicon Finland Finland flagicon United States United States flagicon Canada Canada flagicon New Zealand New Zealand flagicon Netherlands Netherlands flagicon Japan Japan flagicon Hong Kong Hong Kong flagicon Portugal Portugal flagicon Austria Austria flagicon Taiwan Taiwan flagicon Greece Greece flagicon Cyprus Cyprus flagicon Belgium Belgium flagicon France France flagicon Germany Germany flagicon Slovenia Slovenia flagicon Malta Malta flagicon United Kingdom United Kingdom flagicon South Korea South Korea
developed in Arabic: العالم المتقدم
developed in Catalan: País desenvolupat
developed in Cebuano: Ugmad nga nasod
developed in Czech: Vyspělá země
developed in German: Industriestaat
developed in Modern Greek (1453-): Ανεπτυγμένη χώρα
developed in Spanish: País desarrollado
developed in French: Pays développés
developed in Korean: 선진국
developed in Indonesian: Negara maju
developed in Hebrew: מדינה מפותחת
developed in Dutch: Ontwikkelde landen
developed in Japanese: 先進国
developed in Norwegian: Industriland
developed in Portuguese: País desenvolvido
developed in Russian: Развитые страны
developed in Finnish: Teollisuusmaa
developed in Swedish: I-land
developed in Vietnamese: Nước công nghiệp
developed in Ukrainian: Розвинені країни
developed in Chinese: 已開發國家

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