Developed country

  Developing countries
  Data unavailable

Classifications by the IMF and the UN
World map representing Human Development Index categories (based on 2017 data, published in 2018)[1]
  0.800–1.000 (very high)
  0.700–0.799 (high)
  0.555–0.699 (medium)
  0.350–0.554 (low)
  Data unavailable

A developed country, industrialized country, more developed country, or more economically developed country (MEDC), is a sovereign state that has a developed economy and advanced technological infrastructure relative to other less industrialized nations. Most commonly, the criteria for evaluating the degree of economic development are gross domestic product (GDP), gross national product (GNP), the per capita income, level of industrialization, amount of widespread infrastructure and general standard of living.[2] Which criteria are to be used and which countries can be classified as being developed are subjects of debate.

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 2015, advanced economies comprise 60.8% of global GDP based on nominal values and 42.9% of global GDP based on purchasing-power parity (PPP) according to the International Monetary Fund.[3]

Similar terms

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.[4]. 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 different countries, all faced with the same laws of nature, yet each with unique features."[5]