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Countries of the First World

List of Countries of the First World
The term First World originally refers to the capitalist, industrialized countries, within the Western European and United States' sphere of influence, (e.g. member states of the NATO). The term also includes other industrialized countries such as Japan and some of the former British colonies, particularly Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Whoever uses the term today in a variety of meanings, mostly tries to describe the top end of the evolution of countries. Nations with the most advanced economy, highest standard of living, the most advanced technology, the greates influence in the world.

The term could also means: industrialized nations, developed countries, rich countries or the civilized world, in contrast to the poor, under-developed, un-civilized, exploited nations of the so called Third World.
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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 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

Top 10: First World Countries in terms of their Gross National Income

The GNI based on purchasing-power-parity (PPP) per capita in int'l Dollars.
# Country Region GNI per Capita
1 Luxembourg Western Europe 66 821
2 Norway Northern Europe 41 941
3 United States North America 41 557
4 Ireland Northern Europe 40 003
5 Bermuda (overseas territory of the UK) North America *36 000
6 Iceland Northern Europe 35 686
7 Denmark Northern Europe 34 718
8 San Marino Southern Europe *34 600
9 Canada North America 34 444
10 Switzerland Western Europe 33 168
Sources: IMF -- International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, April 2005
(*) CIA The World Factbook (covers countries not mentioned by the IMF, information may refer to 2004 or earlier.)
Slightly different figures you will find at The World Bank Group

Full list of National Economic Accounts for Countries and Regions around the World

Top Ten: First World Countries in Terms of their Human Development

The Human Development Index (HDI) is published annually by the UN.
It measures the average achievements in a country in three basic dimensions of human development:

A long and healthy life
as measured by life expectancy at birth.

as measured by the adult literacy rate (with two-thirds weight) and the combined primary,secondary and tertiary gross enrolment ratio (with one-third weight).

 A decent standard of living
as measured by GDP per capita* (PPP US$).

Below the list of 10 countries with the highest Human Development Index (HDI)
# Country Life expect.
at birth
Adult literacy rate Combined gross enrolment GDP per capita (PPP US$) Life
HDI GDP rank minus HDI rank
1 Norway 78.9 .. 98 36,600 0.90 0.99 0.99 0.956 1
2 Sweden 80.0 .. 114 26,050 0.92 0.99 0.93 0.946 19
3 Australia 79.1 .. 113 28,260 0.90 0.99 0.94 0.946 9
4 Canada 79.3 .. 95 29,480 0.90 0.98 0.95 0.943 5
5 Netherlands 78.3 .. 99 29,100 0.89 0.99 0.95 0.942 6
6 Belgium 78.7 .. 111 27,570 0.90 0.99 0.94 0.942 7
7 Iceland 79.7 .. 90 29,750 0.91 0.96 0.95 0.941 1
8 USA 77.0 .. 92 35,750 0.87 0.97 0.98 0.939 -4
9 Japan 81.5 .. 84 26,940 0.94 0.94 0.93 0.938 6
10 Ireland 76.9 .. 90 36,360 0.86 0.96 0.98 0.936 -7
Source: UN Human Development Report 2004

Country List of Human Development Index (HDI)

Top 10 First World Countries in Terms of Press Freedom

Reporters Without Borders is publishing annually an index of the countries of the world according to their respect for press freedom.
The 10 highest-ranked countries with the most media independence are in Europe.
Below the list of countries, at the top of the fourth World Press Freedom Index.
Rank Country Region Score
1 Denmark Northern Europe 0,50
- Finland Northern Europe 0,50
- Iceland Northern Europe 0,50
- Ireland Northern Europe 0,50
- Netherlands Western Europe 0,50
- Norway Northern Europe 0,50
- Switzerland Western Europe 0,50
8 Slovakia Eastern Europe 0,75
9 Czech Republic Eastern Europe 1,00
- Slovenia Southern Europe 1,00
Source: Reporters Without Borders

Complete Country List of RSF Press Freedom Index 2005

More about the First, Second and Third World:

The First, Second and Third World

Countries of the Second World

Countries of the Third World

List of Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
The world's poorest countries, the real "Third World".

Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs)
Rich and poor countries
Categories of development of countries in the world today.

See also: Country Economies Classification
Compare the purchasing power of countries with low income, middle income and high income.
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