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Developing countries, emerging economies & industrialized countries easily explained

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There are about 194 countries on earth, or rather: states. These can consist of small islands, such as Palau. And there are so-called giant countries like India or Russia. Which country has which economic status in the world economic order is differentiated by the terms developing country, emerging country and industrialized country. In this article, we will show you what these terms mean.

Developing countries

Compared to the industrialized countries, developing countries have a low economic status. Politics, general living conditions and the economy are poorly developed. Developing countries are also called “Third World” countries.



Developing countries can be very different. Unfortunately, however, there are no common characteristics that define a country as a developing country, apart from its poorly developed economy. The only thing they all have in common is that these countries have very little technological progress and are mostly unable to secure the basic existence of the population.

In developing countries, agriculture often accounts for almost all economic output and there are almost no jobs in industry and in the service sector.

Examples for developing countries in Europe (2017):

  • Albania
  • Belarus
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Kosovo
  • Macedonia
  • Moldova, Rep.
  • Serbia and Montenegro
  • Turkey
  • Ukraine



Emerging Markets

Emerging countries actually still belong to the developing countries, only that they no longer have the typical characteristics. You are “on the threshold” from developing to industrialized country. They are also called the “second world” countries.

Such countries are usually at the beginning or in the advanced process of industrialization. There is often an enormous gap between rich and poor in emerging economies. So the country is still very much in the process of economic restructuring.

In such countries, agriculture often makes up a large proportion of the total economic output. However, this share is slowly declining and the industrial share is growing.

Examples of emerging markets:

  • Russia
  • China
  • India
  • Brazil
  • South Africa

Industrialized countries

Industrialized countries are “first world” countries. They are technologically and economically highly developed. Criteria for such countries are a high level of technological progress in infrastructure, demographic characteristics (life expectancy, level of education, etc.), ecological conditions or health care.

In industrialized countries, agriculture usually accounts for less than 5% of total economic output. Industry and especially the service sector make up the largest share of the economy.

Examples for industrialized countries:

  • USA
  • Germany
  • France
  • Australia
  • Japan
  • Italy
  • Great Britain
  • Sweden
  • etc.