We live in a global economy that connects nations all over the world. However, not all nations have been created equally. The minority of the world’s nations that are industrialized are in a class apart from those which are not. Industrialized countries can be defined as countries that have attained a higher standard of living as a result of an increase of economic production, per capita income and consumption, and natural and human resources being optimally used.
Another and more commonly used term for industrialized countries is developed countries, which sets them apart from developing countries, which are not considered industrialized yet. Developed countries have more advanced economies, which allow them a higher living standard, advanced technology, longer life expectancy and better education systems.
The Industrialized Countries
According to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) World Fact Book, the following nations are classified as industrialized or developed countries: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Denmark, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holy See, Hong Kong – China, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The industrialized nations of the world have great influence. The Group of Eight (G8) Industrialized Nations was founded in 1975 and holds annual meetings, the G8 Summit, to discuss pertinent global issues, such as the global economy, energy and security. The G8 members are France, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Japan, the United States, Canada and Russia. Some do not think Russia, which joined the group in 1998, belongs, as its economy is not as advanced as many other industrialized countries.
Some economists and political scientists would classify South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, China, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Turkey as Newly Industrialized Countries (NICs). These nations, particularly China, enjoy this classification, because they display a level of economic development somewhere between the developed and developing nation categories. The NICs have economies that are more industrialized than agricultural and have a higher standard of living than third world economies.