Developed Economy

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DEFINITION of 'Developed Economy'

While there is no one, set definition of a developed economy it typically refers to a country with a relatively high level of economic growth and security. Some of the most common criteria for evaluating a country's degree of development are per capita income or gross domestic product (GDP), level of industrialization, general standard of living and the amount of widespread infrastructure. Increasingly other non-economic factors are included in evaluating an economy or country's degree of development, such as the Human Development Index (HDI) which reflects relative degrees of education, literacy and health.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Developed Economy'

The most well-known current examples of developed countries include the United States, Canada and most of western Europe, including England and France.


Terms such as "emerging countries," "third world countries" and "developing countries," are commonly used to refer to countries that do not enjoy the same level of economic security, industrialization and growth as developed countries. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) points out that the least developed of the developing countries are "deemed highly disadvantaged in their development process – many of them for geographical reasons – and (face) more than other countries the risk of failing to come out of poverty."

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