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Developed Countries: Definition & Examples

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  • 0:03 What Is a Developed Country?
  • 0:48 Major Developed Countries
  • 1:27 Other Developed Countries
  • 3:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
Do you know what a developed country is? This lesson offers a definition and gives a brief overview of the seven major developed countries, as well as other notable developed countries of the world.

What Is a Developed Country?

Many of us are lucky enough to live in a place where we don't have to worry about getting clean water and nutritious food. That's likely because we live in a developed country, with a highly developed economy, advanced industrial activity and infrastructure, and a relatively low poverty rate. Developed countries are characterized by comparatively high standards of living where many people have enough money to buy the things they need. Their economies tend to be more stable and prosperous than developing nations, which, in comparison, have less industrialization, higher population growth, and higher unemployment. Many developed nations are also known for a lot of technological innovation.

Major Developed Countries

More often than not, when people think of a developed country they tend to think of those comprising the Group of Seven (G7). These are the world's leading industrialized countries whose leaders meet informally and discuss important global economic issues. For instance, they may discuss and come to informal conclusions about oil consumption, the world's environmental issues and their economic impact, how to help develop Africa and other regions, and so forth.

The G7 consists of:

  1. The United States of America
  2. Canada
  3. The United Kingdom
  4. Germany
  5. Japan
  6. Italy
  7. France

Other Developed Countries

When we discuss developed countries, we're mainly examining developed economies, and the G7 consists of the seven biggest developed economies in the world. However, the G7 members shouldn't be seen as the only developed countries in the world. In fact, one can argue that other nations are even more developed in terms of their democratic process, equality, social welfare, and so forth.

Most developed countries tend to lie in Europe. In fact, we can take a quick tour of Europe as we go over them. In the Iberian Peninsula in the western-most edge of Europe, you have Spain and Portugal. Portugal is the birthplace of the famous explorer Vasco De Gama and Spain is the country that financed Christopher Columbus's voyage to the New World.

The very north of Europe has many developed countries as well. One of these nations is Finland. The Scandinavian countries Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are also found here. They're the lands of the Vikings, as is Iceland. Iceland is considered to be part of Europe but is an island located in the North Atlantic Ocean. Other European island countries, namely Ireland, Cyprus, and Malta, have developed economies as well.

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