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First World vs. Third World

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    First World vs. Third World

    The phrase “First World” (e.g. member states of the NATO) refers to countries which are democratic, have an advanced economy and technology, great influence on the world and highest standards of living. Where as the term “Third World” which was originally coined to refer to countries which neither aligned with the West (NATO) nor with the East (the Communist bloc), constitutes of countries which have poor living standards, an underdeveloped economy, low standard of technology and a small influence on the world for example the African, Asian, Latin American, Oceanic and some of the European countries which are still in the development process. .

    Most of these third world nations are bemired in scarcity, acquire a weak or feeble government, or are going through other societal or innate troubles that have long been eliminated from the developed nations.

    Economically, First World countries are much more advanced than Third World, comprise and influence a major proportion of world trade, and often have higher GDP’s (Gross Domestic Product) and gross national income (GNI) per capita.

    Even politically, the first world countries are much stronger, more democratic, having a large authority on international matters and able to exercise their power over less developed nations. Whereas the Third World countries have a weak political system, little freedom, worst rights and civil liberties, and are often plagued with civil wars.

    Socially, First World countries have higher incomes. In today’s world 80% of the total population of this world, earns less than $2500 annually where as in the first world countries even an income of $25,000 annually is considered as a low income according to their standard. The first world countries even have higher purchasing-power-parity (PPP) in terms of their Gross National Income, longer and healthier lives, better literacy rates, lower birthrates and a much better standard of living.


    Ryrie, William. (1997) First World, Third World. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.


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