The North-South Divide (or Rich-Poor Divide) is a socio-economic and political division that exists between the wealthy developed countries, known collectively as "the North", and the poorer developing countries (least developed countries), or "the South." Although most nations comprising the "North" are in fact located in the Northern Hemisphere (with the notable exceptions of Australia and New Zealand), the divide is not wholly defined by geography. The North is home to four out of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and all members of the G8. "The North" mostly covers the West and the First World, with much of the Second World. The expression "North-South divide" is still in common use, but the terms "North" and "South" are already somewhat outdated. As nations become economically developed, they may become part of the "North", regardless of geographical location, while any other nations which do not qualify for "developed" status are in effect deemed to be part of the "South."
|Contents | | [hide] | |1 History | |2 Problems with defining the divide | |3 Defining development | |4 The North | |4.1 Americas | |4.2 Asia | |4.3 European Union and European Free Trade Association | |4.4 Oceania | |4.5 Other G8 Members | |5 Brandt Line | |6 Digital divide | |7 Development gap | |8 Theories explaining the divide | |9 Closing the divide | |10 See also | |11 External links | |12 References |
The idea of categorizing countries by their economic and developmental status began during the Cold War with the classifications of East and West. The Soviet Union and China represented the rather developing East, and the United States and their allies represented the more developed West. Out of this paradigm of development surged the division of the First World [the west] and the Second World [the east] with the even less developed countries constituting the Third World. As some Second World countries joined the First World, and others joined the Third World, a new and simpler classification was needed. The First World became the “North” and the Third World became the “South”.
Problems with defining the divide
Latitudes of states vs GDP per capita
Following the fall of the Soviet Bloc, which was commonly referred to as the Second World, many of its constituent countries were reclassified as developing, despite being geographically northern. At the same time, geographically southern nations previously considered "developing," such as the East Asian Tigersor Turkey, have joined the modern First World, but are classified inconsistently in maps showing the North-South...
World map indicating the Human Development Index (based on 2007 data, published on October 5, 2009)
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