Developing country

A developing country is a country with a less developed industrial base and a low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries.[1] However, this definition is not universally agreed upon. There is also no clear agreement on which countries fit this category.[2][3] The term low and middle-income country (LMIC) is often used interchangeably but refers only to the economy of the countries. The World Bank classifies the world's economies into four groups, based on Gross National Income per capita: high, upper-middle, lower-middle, and low income countries. Least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and small island developing states are all sub-groupings of developing countries. Countries on the other end of the spectrum are usually referred to as high-income countries or developed countries.

  Developing countries
  Data unavailable

Example of Older Classifications by the IMF and the UN from 2008
World map representing Human Development Index categories (based on 2019 data, published in 2020).
  0.800–1.000 (very high)
  0.700–0.799 (high)
  0.550–0.699 (medium)
  0.350–0.549 (low)
  Data unavailable

There are controversies over this term's use, which some feel perpetuates an outdated concept of "us" and "them".[4] In 2015, the World Bank declared that the "developing/developed world categorization" is becoming less relevant and that they will phase out the use of that descriptor. Instead, their reports will present data aggregations for regions and income groups.[3][5] The term "Global South" is used by some as an alternative term to developing countries.

Developing countries tend to have some characteristics in common often due to their histories or geographies. For example, with regards to health risks, they commonly have: low levels of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene; energy poverty; high levels of pollution (e.g. air pollution, indoor air pollution, water pollution); high proportion of people with tropical and infectious diseases (neglected tropical diseases); a high number of road traffic accidents; and generally poor infrastructure. Often, there is also widespread poverty, high crime rates, low education levels, inadequate access to family planning services, many informal settlements, corruption at all government levels, and political instability. Global warming (climate change) is expected to impact developing countries more than wealthier countries, as most of them have a high "climate vulnerability".[6]

Development aid or development cooperation is financial aid given by governments and other agencies to support developing countries' economic, environmental, social, and political development. The Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations were set up to overcome many of these problems.