Third World

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Third World

Collective name for most of the nations of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East, many of which share a colonial past and are variously termed as developing, less developed, or least developed countries. They support 75 percent of the world's population but consume only 20 percent of its resources, and are generally characterized by (1) slow pace of industrialization, (2) low to very low levels of per capita income that is insufficient to generate savings for economic growth, (3) low literacy levels but high rate of population growth, (4) poor health facilities and transport infrastructure, (5) dependence on agricultural and commodity exports as main foreign exchange earners. Coined in the 1950s by the French writer Alfred Sauvy (as 'le tiers monde'), it was originally used in the Cold War era (1945-89) to distinguish non-aligned nations from the Western capitalist economies aligned with the US (the First World) and the Eastern communist economies aligned with the USSR (the Second World). Source: Business Dictionary

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