The World Factbook list of developed countries

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In an appendix to the CIA The World Factbook, there is an entry identifying developed countries (DCs).[1][2] This list of DCs is identical to the list in The World Factbook published as early as 1991.[3]

The CIA notes that the DCs form

the top group in the hierarchy of developed countries (DCs), former USSR/Eastern Europe (former USSR/EE), and less developed countries (LDCs);[1]

The CIA argues that this list

includes the market-oriented economies of the mainly democratic nations in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).[1]

However, ten new countries have joined the OECD since this list was created in the early 1990s: India (1994), the Czech Republic (1997), South Korea (1996), Hungary (1996), Poland (1996), Slovakia (2000), Chile (2010), Slovenia (2010), Israel (2010) and Estonia (2010).

The CIA argues that the countries in its list are

also known as the First World, high-income countries, the North, industrial countries;[1]

The CIA notes that these countries

generally have a per capita GDP in excess of $15,000; although four OECD countries and South Africa have figures well under $15,000; and eight of the excluded OPEC countries have figures of more than $20,000.[1]

These descriptions are based on 2010 GDP per capita figures. As of 2017, four members of the OECD have a GDP per capita of less than $15,000 in nominal terms (Poland, Hungary, Turkey and Mexico) and, as of 2017, five OPEC countries have a GDP per capita that is higher than $20,000 (Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE and Saudi Arabia).

The CIA notes that the 25 DCs are as follows:[1]

The CIA concludes its definition with the note that this list is

similar to the new International Monetary Fund (IMF) term "advanced economies" that adds Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan; but drops Malta, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey.[1]

This description is based on an old version of the IMF's list and also erroneously implies that Mexico is on the CIA's Developed Country (DC) list. In the same way, the new IMF's list also includes Malta, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia among "advanced economies".


  1. ^ a b c d e f g CIA (2011). "Appendix B. International Organizations and Groups. World Factbook". Retrieved 2011-11-18.
  2. ^
  3. ^ United States Central Intelligence Agency (1991). The 1991 CIA World Factbook. pp. 2117–8.

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