Talk:Third World

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Statement removed from article[edit]

I removed this from the article:

Furthermore, it could be wrongly assumed that "developing world/country" is developing at all. Many developing nations, in fact, are not developing in any meaningful way what-so-ever. There simply is no path of progressive industrialization or economic advancement occurring.

In addition to the lack of a source, the wording seemed to do more harm than good. The basic point -- that a developing country isn't necessarily developing -- needs to be made, but not in a way that would be like slapping those countries in the face. - furrykef (Talk at me) 09:16, 30 June 2007 (UTC)


Why is Cuba second world?? It should be 3rd or fourth if possible. I've been to Cuba and trust me its like Haiti but no democracy. Please someone change it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:20, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

You do not seem to understand the term second world. In any case, we work on reliable sources, not trusting one another to be right. J Milburn 23:39, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

Nor you happen to understand the notion of fourth world, which refers to indigenous societies —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:24, 1 November 2007 (UTC) becauese of usa. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:42, 8 May 2009 (UTC)


why should india be among third world countries?? whatever maybe your resources. it is an offending term to a country which in all respects is really "developing". 17:50, 22 August 2007 (UTC) DK 17:50, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

It's not - read the caption for the map - that was during cold war time, in the other map - the one that's present day time - India is second world.--danielfolsom 18:10, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't see any present day map. India is most definitely not second world and never was. You're confusing the colloquial definition of Third World with the correct definition, one which Nehru himself championed as independent of First or Second. See the revised intro. Bdefore (talk) 23:27, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Why is India considered a nation until the 17th Century? The Mughal Empire never held all of modern day India.

There are precious few countries whose borders have remained exactly the same over the past 300 years that way why should anyone have a history of more than 300 years ? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:40, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Hcobb (talk) 09:05, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Portugall, Japan and Switzerland largly did.-- (talk) 15:07, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Language & Tone[edit]

The entire country-states like India are run by deeply-corrupt politicians who are routinely elected to power by an equally corrupt population+a deeply corrupt electoral process.

Gut-wrenching filth and almost animal-like existence of people are the first two things that a first time visitor to these parts notices and quickly learns to ignore.

sounds like an essay and contrary to WP spirit. ill wait for a week for someone to reply. thanks --Sayitaintsojoe (talk) 18:31, 10 March 2009 (UTC)


Newly industrialized countries[edit]

Countries that have more advanced economies than developing nations in the Third World,but have not yet attained the level of developed countries in the First World, are grouped under the term Newly Industrialized Countries or NICs. These countries are: China, India, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and the GCC states. However countries that are in the N-11 and are emerging markets such as Senegal, Kenya and Egypt are moving towards becoming New Industrialized Countries.

  • Needs sources, also needs to be checked to make sure this is indeed related to the topic. (does it really need a whole section, or can we put the modern terms in a section by itself.) —— Eagle101Need help? 23:37, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
  • This should be placed in the article on 'developing world' not the article on Third World. Bdefore (talk) 23:29, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Gap between First and Third Worlds[edit]

This is just a note to myself - i'll add it in soon.

[In 1998] the total wealth of the world’s three richest individuals is greater than the combined gross domestic product (1) of the 48 poorest countries - a quarter of all the world’s states.

— [1]

--danielfolsom 00:37, 20 July 2007 (UTC)

Note on blank sections[edit]

Please don't think us insane. Its just easier to organize things this way. If anyone would like to write a section please do! —— Eagle101Need help? 02:56, 20 July 2007 (UTC)



Foreign aid[edit]

Foreign debt[edit]


  1. ^ Ignacio Ramonet (1998-11). "The Politics of Hunger" (html). Le Monde diplomatique. Retrieved 2007-07-19.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. ^ "THIRD WORLD DEVELOPMENT" (html). The University of New South Wales. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  3. ^ a b Vincent Ferraro, Melissa Rosser (1994). "Global Debt and Third World Development" (html). Mount Holyoke College. Retrieved 2007-07-19. 
  4. ^ Clive Crook (1992). "Third World Economic Development" (HTML). The Library of Economics and Liberty - The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. 
  5. ^ Makoba, J Wagona (Spring 2002). "Nongovernmental organizations (NGOS) and third world development: An alternative approach to development". Journal of Third World Studies. Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
  6. ^ Dr. Bessie House-Midamba (1994). "Human Rights and Third World Development" (pdf). PAWSS. Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
  7. ^ Hong, Evelyne (August 2000). "The Globalisation of Culture - Globalisation and the Impact on Health - A Third World View" (PDF). The Peoples' [sic] Health Assembly. Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
  8. ^ Majewski, John (1987). "Ideas on Liberty - July 1987". The Freeman. 37 (7). John Majewski is an economics major at the University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 2007-07-20. 
  9. ^ Anup Shah (2007-06-03). "Third World Debt Undermines Development" (HTML). Global Issues. Retrieved 2007-06-20. 

As long as no one puts blank sections in the article, of course. :-)  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  07:19, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

Puerto Rico[edit]

Puerto Rico is no longer a third world country. I live there, and I can comfortably say that this country has stop being a third world country a few decades ago. We have our own democratic government, similar to United States, industries, respectable universities and colleges, technology, among other things. Our society began evolving ever since the United States took ownership. Xach 21:59, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Xach, Puerto Rico is not a country, third world or otherwise. It is a territory of the United States. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:50, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Excatly, so it should be colored as blue in the map, as it is part of the US. (talk) 23:03, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Third World Countries[edit]

Hello.. iam omar im studying about "third wolrd countris" but i can't understand any off this... plss help me to know ..

MEXICO is not third world, it's member of OECD[edit]


The term has different meanings. Some people use the original definitions, some people use it to refer to currently poorly-developed countries. It would be nice if we could find an authoritative reference, but I suspect it's too informal for one to exist. It seems to me that it's no longer commonly used at all so perhaps the artical should be written in the past tense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kallog (talkcontribs) 03:54, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I've rewritten the introduction to be more past-tense, as I agree it should be.Bdefore (talk) 23:31, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Really? I hear the term used quite frequently. I rarely have any discussion of politics where the the term doesn't come up at least once. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:13, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

  • In response to statements above, Mexico is indeed Third World. Being a member of OECD has nothing to do with it! Can you honestly consider Mexico to be of the same economic development as the the US, Canada, Europe, or Russia, etc? I certainly hope not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:37, 2 August 2009 (UTC)
Why wouldn't you consider Mexico to be on the same level of economic development as those countries? Are Mexicans not white enough for you? Look at Mexico's HDI ranking. Mexico is ranked higher than Russia and half the countries in eastern europe.Immakingthisaccounttohidemyipaddress (talk) 16:14, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Mexico fits into the average skin colouring scale for third world countries so therefor, belongs in said category. Sorry! ;) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:43, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

The first paragraph[edit]

Perhaps I should edit the article directly, but I'm new to editing wiki pages so I thought I'd try something as a discussion first (and I didn't want to mess up the main page - especially not the opening paragraph.

Current first para. "The term Third World is now deprecated, and has been replaced with the more politically correct "developing country". It is a term used, along with First World and Second World, (now more commonly called "developed countries"), to broadly categorize the nations of the Earth to three social, political, and economic divisions. It is also known in some academic contexts as the Global South."

1. There's a single-plural mix up in the first sentence. It should either be Third World = Developing World [a 'developing country' is one country; 'developing countries' could be some but not all individual countries; world implies it's the whole lot]. This single-plural mix up is quite common in the article.

2. I question what it means to state that the term Third World is 'depreciated.' 2a: I don't understand what is means for a word to be 'depreciated.' I would assume this means the phrase is no longer used (not true - see next point). The only other thing I think it could mean is that a decision has been taken to no longer use the phrase. I know that many organisations have done this, but there is no 'controller' of the English language and nobody with the authority to depreciate a word or phrase. 2b: The term is still in written usage (e.g. the Fairtrade Foundation label on Fairtrade goods in the UK state "A better deal for Third World producers; there's the Third World Network; and search forums and you'll find the term is still in use. [As an aside, my university degree certificate says I studied 'Third World Development Studies' - me me at least the term 'Third World' will be in use for as long as I have to tell people about my qualifications]

3. I'm not too sure about the describing the term as 'more politically correct' is completely neutral. From the wikipedia page on 'developing countries': Critics believe that at times the word "developing" is a misnomer. In the case of countries ravaged by European colonialism, the word "re-developing" may be more accurate since there were successful economic systems prior to colonialism. Allegedly due to ethnocentrism, Western analysts generally deem these prior interactions invalid and do not consider them "developed". The premise is that "to develop" is the same thing as "to develop in a western manner".

Suggestion for first para: The term Third World originates from the 1950's and is used to describe the poorest countries in the world. The concept of the First, Second, Third, (and sometimes Fourth) World's is used to broadly categorize the nations of the Earth to three social, political, and economic divisions. The term Third World is often seen as inappropriate, and the term 'developing world' is preferred by many people and organisations. It is also known in some academic contexts as the Global South.

What does anybody think? Is this OK, or am I completely off-track? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ggillions (talkcontribs) 17:30, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Thanks Ggillions, I've used your suggestion for the intro, modified it and made it more past-tense since it's essentially a deprecated phrase. Bdefore (talk) 23:32, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Possible overlap[edit]

The page "Less economically developed countries" brings one here, while "Less economically developed country" takes one to developing country. I suppose there is a difference in quantity, but I don't see why that should lead to different articles, exactly, nor why there are two articles on basically the same thing. (According to me, someone who knows little about this subject matter.) I think my query is whether it would not be better to send people interested in this concept directly to developing country, as this article seems to be just about the term, rather than the actual Third World. I find this rather confusing- that the article is about the term, rather than the actual Third World, but then neither do I see the use for two articles on the same subject. Perhaps a merge is in order? Loggie (talk) 21:24, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

I have to disagree that Third World qualifies as a merge with developing country. Although 'Third World' is commonly used in conversation, there is a lot of ignorance - it no longer really applies to the world at all given the fall of the Soviet Union and I think we should announce this in the introductory paragraph. As such it is generally discouraged to be used in any academia and most journalism. As such I do not think there should be a modern day map of who is Third World or isn't - this is highly subjective and unfalsifiable. This is why the terms developing/developed have come to use, and while they have their own problems, are definitely NOT synonymous with Third World Bdefore (talk) 21:56, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Tiers Etat[edit]

I just changed Troisième Etat to Tiers Etat - I might be wrong, I'm not so good at history but I'm French and I've never heard the term Troisième Etat before. Moreover, the French article about the Third Estate is called "Tiers Etat" :

Please correct me if I'm wrong. loulan (talk) 03:27, 16 September 2008 (UTC)


I don't believe that the "Definition" sections provides any clear definition of Third World at all. I know the definition of Third World is vague, but all we have here is a whole bunch of phrases like... "Global South", "developing countries", "The South"... etc not really a definition. Often the term "Third World" is used with no reference to industrialization or development at all, sometimes it is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:25, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

I have a thought to share with no reference to mention, Third world is the term currently being used to define countries not on the base of Cold war scenario, or developed and under development scenario, but the term is a soft cover of the statement that those countries are considered uncivilized, opposite to the civilized world, regardless to how big is their economic mass or GDP or their per capita income, if the country's law and people do not go hand in hand and with the generally considered humanitarian laws, those countries are mentioned as 3rd world countries, I think if that definition is kept in mind it becomes very clear why China, India, Saudi Arabia are still 3rd world countries. Mkashif (talk) 12:56, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Political correctness?[edit]

I thought it was no longer politically correct to use the terms "first world" and "third world"--I thought it has been changed to "developed" and "developing," respectively. SweetNightmares (talk) 06:46, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

  • Cite your sources. Who says the term "third world" is no longer politically correct? I still hear it used in "polite company," so I don't know what you're talking about. The term is falling out of use not because it is perceived as offensive, but because it no longer makes sense, as the Second World, the USSR, no longer exists. Even if it were deemed politically incorrect by important sources, the term would remain here still. You don't see "nigger" being removed, do you? Wikipedia is not censored. - Searing Shadow

While it's difficult to find recent source material online about the correctness of various terminology--a friend/professor of political science teaches that "Global North" and "Global South" are the most popular and accepted among the academic community. (talk) 05:23, 12 February 2013 (UTC)Evan Mann

What is and what isn't[edit]

This discussion of which countries are or aren't Third World is wrong headed. PURPLE DINOSAURS!!! Has anyone read The Darker Nations by Vijay Prashad? The book is excellent in describing what the Third World was, which was a project of newly independent countries of Africa, Asia, and eventually South America and the Caribbean, which sought to fight for political and economic self determination of nations, equality, and peace. The movement failed due to many factors, one being inner division between such large and diverse groups of people. Also, with the collapse of the Soviet Union the terms of first second and third world have little to meaning other than designations of economic activity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:55, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

I think this would be fantastic context to add to the etymology of the term. As you say, 'Third World' was a phrase brought to light with the interests of various powers in mind, and with the fall of the USSR, no longer really applies to contemporary nations and this especially is not currently conveyed well enough in the current revision. Bdefore (talk) 22:00, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Coining of the Term[edit]

Reading the current edition of the article, I see that apparently both Nehru and Sauvy coined the term "Third World." So, what's going on here? There are also two conflicting definitions that I've seen. One is that the West is the First, the USSR was the Second, and the unallied nations are the Third. I assumed this to be correct, but further down it says the term originally referred to the countries in order of discovery, which makes no sense to me. Can someone who actually knows what they're talking about clear this up? - Searing Shadow —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:53, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

I truly wish I had a source, but I'm hoping some clever researcher here can help. If you think about it, why would anyone describe anything as being a first world, let alone a second or third. What does make sense, and this is the context which I first learned of the term, is that we once had a New World and an Old World. The Third World refers to countries that were, more or less, left out or generally forgotten.

(I'm new to the Discussion page so forgive any transgressions. Amazingbollweevil (talk) 12:53, 8 September 2011 (UTC))


The term "third world" could also come from the colonization of Africa (and Southeast Asia) during the 1800's. The "Old World" was Europe, and the "New World" was the Americas. The "third world" was used to describe these new areas that were being colonized. Eventually "third world" came to be a general term to use any developing nation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:47, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

I know of no source that shows this to be the origin of 'Third World'. Without citation I do not think this is appropriate to include. Bdefore (talk) 22:04, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

All the sources I've read on this, attributed the term to French economist Alfred Sauvy in the 1950s. It originally referred to 'non-aligned' countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia (that were not aligned with either the capitalist (First World) or Communist (Second World) blocs). I'll try and find the proper references for this and post them here. 01:47, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

Map at top of article is wrong[edit]

The map at the top of the article is has a lot of errors. I know because I have books that show first, second, and third worlds. Whoever made that map based it on political alliances during the Cold War when it is more about who is and is not economically developed/developing. The US, Canada, W Europe, Australia, Canada, were First World, Russia and the former Soviet satellites in E Europe were the Second World (developed but not quite as much as the US and its allies). And Third World was pretty much everyone else, regardless of who they were allied with politically. Some scholars even considered there to be a Fourth World of very poor countries like Ethiopia and Haiti. The map has vietnam and cuba as being Second World which is insane to think they are of the same economic development as E Europe and Russia. The whole map needs to be redone or deleted outright. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:29, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

Originally the term did refer to the political alliances during the Cold War, and 'Third World' was used to refer to countries that were part of the 'non-aligned' movement. Over time, the usage of the word has shifted, particularly with the end of the Cold War and dissolution of the USSR and this original meaning has been somewhat lost or made redundant. This accounts for the different intepretations of which countries are included. I think a good approach would be to represent the debate, showing both intepretations. JenLouise (talk) 01:50, 16 August 2009 (UTC)
Even if it does show political alliances during the Cold War, this map is still incorrect since it shows Switzerland and Austria as First World countries, but through most of the cold war, Austria tried to remain neutral (following the Swiss model) and was neither a part of NATO nor the Warsaw Pact and even to this day Switzerland tries to stay out of everything.

it shows china as 2nd world and all of latin america as 3rd world? It is the other way around. this is an example, a ton of countrys are wrong

i believe it should be deletedPeppermintschnapps (talk) 19:15, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Of course China is a 3rd world country, this article must be clean up asap, as it has misled alota people.----WWBread (talk) 08:38, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Brazil is not a third world[edit]

Brazil is the 9th largest economy. I fixed it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ricardorel (talkcontribs) 22:13, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Become less brown and we'll talk.  — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:57, 8 April 2012 (UTC) 

Yugoslavia was the founding member of non-aligned[edit]

According to explanation in this article, based on political association, Yugoslavia was a third world country due to is non-aligned status and neutrality. Yugoslavia, along with India and Egypt were the founding members, so it is wrong to put it into the same group as former USSR, as it was never under Soviet jurisdiction nor was it a Soviet satellite country - so the picture on top of this page is wrong. (talk) 09:32, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

I agree, someone should change this map, it clearly states "the Soviet Union and its allies" - in red, and "Non-aligned and neutral countries" in green. Yugoslavia was founder and member of Non-aligned movement and therefore the map is inaccurate and misleading. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:23, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. Let's get on this ASAP. Who can change this map? This is no small problem.--Pac (talk) 20:25, 30 July 2010 (UTC)

Can someone change this already? -- (talk) 19:20, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

capitalist NATO[edit]

NATO countries are better defined as democracies or rebublics. It is better to look at the political differences between Warsaw Pact and NATO. Many NATO countries have or have had various levels of socialist or welfare economies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:57, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

Innappropriate sourcing[edit]

Source one, "Appropripedia" does not seem to be an appropriate source. For one, it is a POV uber-politically correct propaganda machine, so it is totally possible that "Majority World" is an invention of one of its contributors... and Wikipedia is not the place for things made up one day. Also, it is a wiki... is it appropriate to cite a wiki... on another wiki? And unless I'm mistaken, the combined populations of the First and Second Worlds (China, Russia, Europe, and the U.S. anyone?) exceed those of the Third World, meaning this term is also patently innacurate. In my opinion, "Majority World" should be removed until a reliable, non-POV source can be found for it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:34, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Appropripedia is not found, either it's gone or shut down. The next politically charged site Conservapedia is on its way to E-ghost town status by the decrease in edits and new member sign-ups. They are also twisting facts and acting morally righteous or academically better than Wikipedians anyway. To make a new separate wiki for a certain political ideological standpoint or POV is perfectly fine, but Conservapedia and Appropripedia are nothing more than pieces of propaganda. + (talk) 13:46, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

I removed all the nonsense about "Majority World." These are liberal propaganda terms, and it is enough to simply state that the term "Third World" has no real meaning anymore and has largely been replaced by "Developing World." Please do not replace these highly suspect terms unless you can find some reliable verification. And on a personal note, doesn't anyone else get tired of all the pandering? I mean, really, isn't "developing" positive enough, considering it's frequently used to describe countries that are floundering in corruption, violence, economic decay, etc. etc. etc.? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:51, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

Third world's meaning in 2010[edit]

"Third world" can be deragatory and disparaging term to non-white majority/former European colonial nations of Africa, Asia (we Americans know about the economic growth rates would change the color code of these countries on the 2009 survey world map) and Latin America (despite they're of European/Hispanic origin). The term is becoming not only archaic based on the post WWII-pre 2000 world, the "Developed north/developING south" and seven worlds index (some say eight or nine: the US is the top super power, and the median world in levels three to five) is gaining popularity and acceptance in the academia studies of the HDI (human development index) economic prosperity measurement of each one of the 203 current nations. Thus the best designation of the likes for India, Brazil, Mexico, Israel, South Africa and Albania is in the third to fifth world; while the least HDI in the countries of Niger, Haiti (western hemisphere), Laos (for Asia) and Malawi (southern hemisphere) is sixth to eighth world. (talk) 13:41, 19 June 2010 (UTC)

I've never heard anyone use "third world" in a derogatory sense, and I had never heard of the seven worlds index until now. I do think the usage described in this article is outmoded. Everyone I know uses "first-world" to describe the countries with the highest standard of living, and "third world" to describe those with the lowest. (Even occasionally "second world" to describe those in-between). From what I understand this formerly colloquial usage is now widespread and more used than any other meanings. This article should reflect that. Telanis (talk) 03:47, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Yes, in the past 15-20 years, I don't think I've ever heard "third world" used to mean anything over than developing/underdeveloped countries, and only once or twice heard someone say that the term originated as a description of non-aligned nations in the Cold War. Wardog (talk) 21:31, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
It was never intended to be pejorative, it's that common usage among the public made it as such among the common man. But in academia it had a perfectly legitimate purpose. And I still use it in some of my college papers, and it's accepted. It's not necessarily disparaging, but it IS outdated. That much is true. (talk) 16:32, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

Ethiopia Second World?[edit]

Ethiopia was a communist, Soviet allied country from the overthrow of the monarchy until collapse of communism.

The famines they experienced were very similar to the European countries that experimented with collectivized agriculture. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:06, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Second World[edit]

The Michigan World History texbook claims that First World are countries aligned with EITHER the Soviet Union or the U.S. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:54, 28 August 2010 (UTC)


Congratulations are due to Wikipedia for clarifying how the term "third world" is not to be confused with developing nations. Perhaps there could be an article stating how much controversy there is over what to call the latter nations? One suggestion has been that we should call these countries "the majority". If that makes certain things hit home with us, it should. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 20:40, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

The majority? Well, yeah, but that doesn't do anything to provide any sort of perspective of these countries and is just as backwards as saying 'third world'. It can also be interpreted as advocating a political message ('the majority' sounds like it would fit in with Marxist ideology and advocates a certain perception of 'us' vs 'them'). How about 'The disenfranchised workers of the world' to appease the politically correct liberals :)? (talk) 16:29, 19 March 2013 (UTC)

South Africa[edit]

The map on the right is wrong, it shows that south africa was a third world country. During the cold war it was staunchly anit-communist and banned the SACP (SA communist party) and tried to align itself with the 1st world. Can someone please change this? Bezuidenhout (talk) 11:40, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

I don't agree with the above statement. South Africa has never been one of the Nato Member countries. It does not matter is SA was anti-communist during that time. South Africa is NOT part of the NATO Member countries. The oxford dictionary difines first world as, "The industrialized capitalist countries of western Europe, North America, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand". And Third World as, "the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America". SOuth Africa is a developing country. Map needs to be changed to reflect South Africa as third world. Saffaza (talk) 10:20, 22 January 2013 (UTC+12)

Wrong countries / cleanup required[edit]

The country map on the right shows the assignments in 1975. If you look at the same map on the German (Deutsch) article, you see a slightly different map. For example South Africa. Or Switzerland and Austria. The german map also says it's during cold war. Did I misunderstand something here or is one of the two maps wrong? Can we clean this up please? -- (talk) 09:12, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Article = very flawed[edit]

This article is about the history and origins of the term 'Third World', and just ignores or obfuscates the mainstream understanding of the term, i.e the collection of poor or developing countries.

The article needs to start again, defining what Third World means in everyday use, and then look at the history, origins etc of the term. Currently it is the other way round.

22:57, 1 September 2012 (UTC)22:57, 1 September 2012 (UTC)22:57, 1 September 2012 (UTC) (talk)

Incorrect Map[edit]

This article shows the "Cold War alliances" map. The third world map is located at this address: . I don't know how to put it in however, someone else should take care of this.

QuentinV (talk) 05:09, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

This is all completely wrong, and not supported by the sources.[edit]

Claiming that the 1st world is NATO, the second the Warsaw pact and all neutral countries, including Sweden, Finland, Switzerland etc is the third world is incorrect. It never had that usage. If you check that sources that are used they say something completely different:

After World War II the world split into two large geopolitical blocs and spheres of influence with contrary views on government and the politically correct society:

 1. The bloc of democratic-industrial countries within the American influence sphere, the "First World".
 2. The Eastern bloc of the communist-socialist states, the "Second World".
 3. The remaining three-quarters of the world's population, states not aligned with either bloc were regarded as the "Third World." See also

This article should be updated to reflect this, it'll be a lot of work... Perhaps time to get active again, but Wikipedia tends to become such a time sink... Help me out here peoples! :-) -- (talk) 09:35, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Map of India[edit]

The map of india shows the PoK as part of pakistan. If the wiki entry for India is seen, that region is shown in a different color.

Keeping with consistency and neutral stand from Wiki standpoint, I would say this should be made the same in the map here (talk) 12:06, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

We need more on the shift in usage[edit]

To the extent the term has a negative connotation (which it can, but not as much as language police insist – see [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], though some modern use is ironic/self-conscious [8], [9], [10], [11], [12]), it's because its been reinterpreted (with original-meaning exceptions, of course, e.g. [13], [14], [15]) as a distinction from the New World and Old World powers, as a description of the places those powers had once aggressively colonized and still exploit and dominate (see, e.g., [16] – hint: the Victorian era pre-dated the Cold War :-).

This very usage shift is one of the reasons that some liberals, including Third World ones, still use the term, despite some ya-hoos also using it in a denigrating manner (that fact is what gives intentional use by progressives the power of irony, much like the positive use of "queer" today). The term has been reified in a way that, for some camps in the always-splintering Left, directly highlights the nature of the problem and who is collectively causing it. In current parlance, it no longer means "you people who haven't picked a side yet" at all, and is compatible with non-thought-policing, classical-liberal politics. This change in sense – toward an additional and now dominant meaning, not an erasure of the original – happened within my adult lifetime, and before the Cold War was even over. By the time I graduated high school in the mid-1980s, few of my generation thought of the Third World in terms of those places caught between communism (which was already seen as dying bear) vs. capitalism, but as that part of the world getting the short end of the stick from Old World aristocracy and innate superiority thinking, and the New World one-hand-giveth approach of promising democracy and reform and running off with all the loot (and maybe bombing you if you complain).

I really think we can do better here in covering "recent" (i.e. last 30 years of) usage and conceptualization. The majority of the first block of sources I cited probably have little if anything to do with Cold War era concepts except as historical background, judging from their synopses. The terms Old World and New World do not even appear anywhere in the article (though neither of those pages addresses their late 20th century to present meanings in socio-political discourse, which are ideological more than geographical, so all three articles need a reality check).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  07:17, 25 January 2016 (UTC)

third world[edit]

Your article on Third World should, in my view, mention the inventor of the term "Third World", Alfred Sauvy, a French economist.

Extract from Wikipedia:

In an article published in the French magazine, L'Observateur on August 14, 1952, Alfred Sauvy said:

" enfin, ce Tiers Monde ignoré, exploité, méprisé comme le Tiers Etat, veut lui aussi, être quelque chose" "...because at the end this ignored, exploited, scorned Third World like the Third Estate, wants to become something too". In using the expression Third World here he was paraphrasing Sieyès's famous sentence about the Third Estate during the French Revolution..

Regards, Pierre Lepinoy — Preceding unsigned comment added by Plepinoy (talkcontribs) 11:35, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

Response to the creation of the "Third World"[edit]

I think it would be helpful to add a section to how countries who were considered to be a part of the "Third World" responded to the classification. I would further discuss the Bandung Conference, which took place on 24 April 1955 and the Non Aligned Summit Conference (September 1961).Frannywood (talk) 00:34, 17 November 2016 (UTC)

Income Distribution 2015[edit]

Text should read: "...has vanished,.." not "...was vanished,..". 2602:30A:2CFC:B1A0:B1BE:EC38:3982:E170 (talk) 00:42, 12 June 2017 (UTC)