We have all heard the expression 'third world countries' What are the first and second world countries

9 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    The term "First World" refers to so called developed, capitalist, industrial countries, roughly, a bloc of countries aligned with the United States after word war II, with more or less common political and economic interests: North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia.

    First World - Industrialized Countries, within the Western European and United States' Sphere of Influence

    NATO Member States during the Cold War

    Belgium, Canada, Denmark,

    France, Germany (West), Greece,

    Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg,

    Netherlands, Norway, Portugal,

    Spain (since 1982), Turkey, United Kingdom,


    US Aligned States

    Israel Japan Korea (South)

    Former British Colonies

    Australia New Zealand

    Neutral and more or less industrialized capitalist countries

    Austria Ireland Sweden


    "Second World" refers to the former communist-socialist, industrial states, (formerly the Eastern bloc, the territory and sphere of influence of the Union of Soviet Socialists Republic) today: Russia, Eastern Europe (e.g., Poland) and some of the Turk States (e.g., Kazakhstan) as well as China.

    Second World Country List

    Country formerly part of: Region

    Albania * Southern Europe

    Armenia Soviet Union Western Asia

    Azerbaijan Soviet Union Western Asia

    Belarus Soviet Union Eastern Europe

    Bosnia and Herzegovina Yugoslavia Southern Europe

    Bulgaria Eastern Europe

    Croatia (Hrvatska) Yugoslavia Southern Europe

    Czech Republic Czechoslovakia Eastern Europe

    Estonia annexed by Soviet Union** Northern Europe

    Georgia Soviet Union Western Asia

    East Germany Western Europe

    Hungary Eastern Europe

    Kazakhstan Soviet Union South-Central Asia

    Kyrgyzstan Soviet Union South-Central Asia

    Latvia annexed by Soviet Union** Northern Europe

    Lithuania annexed by Soviet Union** Northern Europe

    Macedonia Yugoslavia Southern Europe

    Moldova Soviet Union Eastern Europe

    Poland Eastern Europe

    Romania Eastern Europe

    Russia Soviet Union Northern Europe/Asia

    Serbia and Montenegro Yugoslavia Southern Europe

    Slovakia Czechoslovakia Eastern Europe

    Slovenia Yugoslavia Southern Europe

    Tajikistan Soviet Union South-Central Asia

    Turkmenistan Soviet Union South-Central Asia

    Ukraine Soviet Union Eastern Europe

    Uzbekistan Soviet Union South-Central Asia

    (Formerly) Communist States in Asia ***

    China Eastern Asia

    Korea (North) Korea Eastern Asia

    Lao PDR South East Asia

    Mongolia**** China, until 1921 Eastern Asia

    Viet Nam (North) South East Asia

    "Third World" are all the other countries, today often used to roughly describe the developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America.

    The term Third World includes as well capitalist (e.g., Venezuela) and communist (e.g., North Korea) countries as very rich (e.g., Saudi Arabia) and very poor (e.g., Mali) countries.

    The term "Fourth World" first came into use in 1974 with the publication of Shuswap Chief George Manuel's: The fourth world : an Indian reality (amazon link to the book), the term refers to nations (cultural entities, ethnic groups) of indigenous peoples living within or across state boundaries (nation states).

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  • 1 decade ago

    The terms 1st, 2nd and 3rd world countries were used decades ago. Slowly over time they have been phased out. The 1st world refered to 'developed' countries like the U.S.A, U.K, France, Germany ect. 2nd world referred to the Newly Industrialised Countries, meaning that there economic status has greatly improved (basically) these are now considered to be Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan etc. And the 3rd World refers to alllllll the developing countries like the majority of Africa and Latin America. (Hope that helps.)

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  • 1 decade ago

    The terms started during the cold war: first world was the West (the USA and our "allies") and second world was the USSR and their allies. Third world originally referred to those that hadn't taken sides. Most of those countries were impoverished, so the term has come to mean "impoverished" country. The correct term according to the UN is "developing country" vs. "developed country."

    Source(s): The book "Unexpected News: Reading the Bible with Third World Eyes"
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  • 1 decade ago

    The only first world nations are the USA, Great Britian, and Japan, plus a few wealthy kingdoms here and there. Traditionally second world nations refered to Communist nations, but recently have come to refer to places such as continental Europe, South Korea, Russia, and such.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The "Old World" is the old Roman Empire. The "New World" is the Americas and Australia. The "Third World" is everything else.

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  • 1 decade ago

    In ancient France, before the revolution, you had the "tiers Etat" (third state, I'm not sure about translation), people who didn't belong to the church nor the nobility.

    Some european social scientists utilized that metaphore to talk about the under-developped countries as a whole.

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  • 1 decade ago

    3rd world countries is just an expression. There is no 1st 2nd.

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  • 1 decade ago

    latin America and most of southern Asia is 3rd world.

    They lack the infrastructure and capital to maintain a 1st world nation.

    All of Africa expect Egypt and South Africa is 3rd world

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  • Hippie
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago




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