The concept Third World have always had an evolving definitions, and it simply denotes countries that suffers from high infant mortality, low economic development, high levels of poverty, low utilization of natural resources and heavy dependency on industrialized nations.
The term Third World arose during the cold war to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalist and NATO (which along with its allies represented the First World) or Communism and the Soviet Union (which along with its allies represented the Second World World).it was coined in France, in the late 1940 to refer to a possible Third estate.
Thus it became stereotype such that people commonly refer to underdeveloped countries as Third world Countries. Third world as been used interchangeable by the Global South and Developing Countries to describe poorer countries that struggled to attain steady economic development which includes most of Africa, Latin America ,Asia, and Oceania.
The basic logic is that the Third World is an identifiable unit which is blustered by these two things: the “package” of problems that the whole third world seems to face and the seeming unity of the Third World bloc within the United Nations General Assembly during vote on certain issues, particularly those having anti-colonial over tones. The Third World concept is useful in the study of international relations, particularly since the term is widely used. The third World has often been defined in terms of “underdevelopment”
“Third World” was also used to distinguish non-industrialised between the countries of Western Europe, North America, Japan and Australasia (First World) and the planned economies of the USSR and Eastern Europe (Second World).
When people talk about the poorest countries of the world, they often refer to them with the general term ‘Third World’. Today the term third word is often used to roughly describe the developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America.
In summary, The present day Third world are the developing and technologically less advanced nations of Asia, Africa, Oceania and Latin America. Third world nations tend to have economic dependent on the developed countries and are generally characterized as poor with unstable governments and having high rates of population growth illiteracy and disease. A key is the lack of a middle-class with impoverished millions in a vast lower economic class and a very small elite upper class controlling the country’s wealth and resources. Most third world countries also have a very large foreign debt.
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Jan Palmowku, Dictionary Of Contemporary World History from 1900 to present day ,3rd edition, USA :Oxford University Press 2008.
Wikipedia, underdevelopment, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underdevelopment; Wikimedia Foundation Inc., Sept. 10, 2012.
picture of map courtesy wikipedia