The three worlds as they were separated during the Cold War
era, each with its respective allies as of the period between 30 April 1975 (the fall of Saigon
) and 23 August 1975 (the communist takeover in Laos
). Colors do not represent current economic development.
First World: the United States, United Kingdom and its allies.
Second World: the Soviet Union, China, and their allies.
"Communist world" redirects here. For the final stage of communist theory, see World communism
The Second World refers to the former communist, industrial states (formally the Eastern Bloc), the territory and the influence of the Soviet Union. Following World War II, there were nineteen communist countries; after the fall of the Soviet Union, only five socialist countries remained: China, Cuba, North Korea, Laos and Vietnam. Along with "First World" and "Third World", the term was used to divide the nations of Earth into three broad categories. In other words, the concept of "Second World" was a construct of the Cold War and the term has largely fallen out of use since the revolutions of 1989, though it is still used to describe countries that are in between poverty and prosperity, many of which are socialist and former socialist states today. Subsequently, the actual meaning of the terms "First World" and "Third World" changed from being based on political ideology to an economic definition (see the terms developed country and developing country). This might also cause semantic variation of the term between ascribing a region's political entities and its people.
 See also