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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/advanced country include industrialized countries, more developed countries (MDC) and more economically developed countries (MEDC). The term industrialized country may be 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 countires. 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, noting that until the post World War II era most persons in all soceities were impoverished.
According to the United Nations definition, "There is no established convention for the designation of "developed" and "developing" countries or areas. In common practice, Japan in Asia, Canada and the United States in North America, Australia and New Zealand in Oceania, and Western Europe are considered "developed" regions or areas. In international trade statistics, the Southern African Customs Union is also treated as a developed region[How to reference and link to summary or text] and Israel as a developed country; and 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." Nowadays the more comprehensive group of "developed countries" also covers the East Asian Tigers (Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan). Hong Kong has long been considered developed by the IMF which grants the formal classification of developed countries. Although Hong Kong was handed over to the People's Republic of China (PRC), which is a developing country, it is still considered internationally as separate economic entities (as it has its own currencies - the Hong Kong Dollar) and a separate political system according to the Basic Law of Hong Kong. Due to the difference between its economy and that of mainland China, its territory retain its own border and custom controls.
High income countries
- Main article: High income country
"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.[How to reference and link to summary or text]
Despite their high per capita GDP, the GCC countries in the Middle East, Brunei and Trinidad and Tobago 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.
Another relative research about standard of living by Economist Intelligence Unit or EIU Quality-of-life Survey refers the top thirty countries with the best quality of life (in ranking order): Ireland, Switzerland, Norway, Luxembourg, Sweden, Australia, Iceland, Italy, Denmark, Spain, Singapore, Finland, United States, Canada, New Zealand, Netherlands, Japan, Hong Kong, Portugal, Austria, Taiwan, Greece, Cyprus, Belgium, France, Germany, Slovenia, Malta, United Kingdom and South Korea.
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-present), Japan (1991 & 1993), Canada (1985, 1992, 1994-2000) 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. On the CIA list of "developed countries" Turkey (0.75) and South Africa (0.658) did not have a high HDI score. 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 Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has identifies 34 "developed countries," while the International Monetary Fund (IMF) identifies 31 "advanced economies." The World Bank identifies 60 "high income countries," which are classified either as developed or developing by the UN. The criteria used to create these lists differ across these organizations as does the placement of certain countries.
CIA developed country list
The CIA classifies 34 economic entities as "developed countries (DCs):"
the top group in the hierarchy of developed countries (DCs), former USSR/Eastern Europe (former USSR/EE), and less developed countries (LDCs); includes the market-oriented economies of the mainly democratic nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Bermuda, Israel, South Africa, and the European ministates; also known as the First World, high-income countries, the North, industrial countries - CIA, 2007
CIA advanced economy list
The official classification of "advanced countries" is originally made by the IMF. Yet, the CIA has also created a list of advanced economies which, until March 2001, was more comprehensive as it included non-IMF member states. Since 2001, however, Cyprus, and more recently Slovenia, were added to the IMF but not to the CIA advanced economy list. Below is the current CIA advanced country list, consisting of 35 countries:
IMF advanced economy list
According to the International Monetary Fund the following 31 countries are classified as "advanced economies:"
- ↑ Sachs, Jeffrey (2005). The End of Poverty, New York, New York: The Penguin Press. 1-59420-045-9.
- ↑ World Bank. (2007). Data & Statistics: Country Groups. URL accessed on 2007-06-20.
- ↑ UN. (2005). UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics.. URL accessed on 2007-07-09.
- ↑ UN. (2006). Human Development Report.. URL accessed on 2007-07-07.
- ↑ UN. (2006). Human Development Report: Summary.. URL accessed on 2007-07-07.
- ↑ The official classification of "advanced countries" is originally made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The IMF list doesn't deal with non-IMF memebrs. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) intends to follow IMF list but adds few countries which aren't dealt with by IMF due to their not being IMF members. By May 2001, the advanced country list of the CIA was more comprehensive than the original IMF list; However, since May 2001 - two additional countries (Cyprus and Slovenia) have been added to the original IMF list, thus leaving the CIA list not updated.
- ↑ Namely sovereign states, i.e. excluding Macau (being under China's sovereignty): In 2003 the government of Macau calculated its HDI as being 0.909 (the UN does not calculate Macau's HDI); In January 2007, the People's Daily reported (from China Modernization Report 2007): "In 2004...Macau...had reached the level of developed countries". However, Macau is not recognized by any international organisation as a developed/advanced territory, while the UNCTAD organisaion (of the UN), as well as the CIA, classify Macao as a "developing" territory. Anyway, The World Bank classifies Macau as a high income economy (along with developed economies as well as with few developing economies).
- ↑ CIA. (19 June, 2007). International Organizations and Groups. World Factbook.. URL accessed on 2007-07-07.
- ↑ IMF. (April 2007). World Economic Outlook.. URL accessed on 2007-07-06.
- World Bank (high-income economies)
- The World Factbook (developed countries)
- United Nations Statistics Division (definition)
- United Nations Statistics Division (developed regions)
- IMF (advanced economies)
- The Economist (quality of life survey)
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