First World


DEFINITION of 'First World'

1. A country that was aligned with the West and opposed to the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, this use of First World has largely gone away.

2. A country characterized by political stability, democracy, rule of law, a capitalist economy, economic stability and a high standard of living. Various definitions have been used for First World nations, including GDP, GNP and literacy rates. The Human Development Index is also a good indicator in determining First World countries.


First-world countries have stable currencies and robust financial markets, making them attractive to investors from all over the world. Examples of first-world countries include the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the Western European countries. First-world countries are in the minority; most countries are classified as second- or third-world.

  1. Second World

    1. A country that was once controlled by the Soviet Union. Second ...
  2. Human Development Index - HDI

    A tool developed by the United Nations to measure and rank countries' ...
  3. Developed Economy

    While there is no one, set definition of a developed economy ...
  4. Lesser-Developed Country - LDC

    A country that is considered lacking in terms of its economy, ...
  5. Organization for Economic Cooperation ...

    A group of 30 member countries that discuss and develop economic ...
  6. Emerging Market Economy

    A nation's economy that is progressing toward becoming advanced, ...
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