A first (1st) world country was originally known as a country which was developed and industrialized. Examples of this include America and Canada. Nowadays, it is a technologically advanced democracy whose citizens maintain a high standard of living.

A second (2nd) world country was originally known as a communist country. Examples of this include China and Russia. This term is not used often anymore, though maintains the same meaning, and so Russia no longer can be categorized as a second world country.

A third (3rd) world country was originally known as a country which was neutral. The primary example of this is Africa. It is now defined as an underdeveloped country which lacks industrialization. This is the reason behind it's neutrality.

There is also a term coined by sociologist Manuel Castells known as a fourth (4th) world country. This is sub-population subjected to social exclusion by global society. The primary example of this is Native American/First Nation groups.


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