Is Australia A First World Country?

Australia is a former British colony, and continues to maintain close association with its motherland. This is almost a continent; it is an isolated mass of land located in Oceania. Australia is a developed society and economy; it is one of the richest countries in the world.

A mega-diverse land area; Australia measures 7,692,024 km2; and has astonishing diversity when it comes to plant and animal life. It has a population of around 26 million people; and they are made up of 250 different language groups.

Australia is one of the most sought after countries when it comes to immigration. As a matter of fact, Australia has so much industry that it actually needs more hands to meet demand.

Is Australia A First World Country?

Yes, Australia is a “First World” nation by both definitions of the phrase. Regardless, of what context the question is asked, the answer would be yes.

However, it is important to explain the two possible meanings of First World; the first being political, and the other being economic.

The Political “Yes”

The original meaning of the phrase “First World” was political; it first came into existence during the Cold War. At that time the meaning was “Capitalist Countries.” As you may know, the Cold War was a political and ideological conflict between the US and its allies on one side, and the Soviet Union on the other side.

The “First World” therefore meant those countries that supported the Capitalists, championed by the US, as it fought against the USSR.

Australia was a First World country during the Cold War because it offered strategic assistance to the US. This is one of the countries that work as a unit with Britain, which in turn is the oldest and most trusted ally of the United States. Furthermore, Australia by itself has maintained a Capitalist culture throughout its modern history.

The Economic “Yes”

After the Cold War ended, the phrase “First World” was assigned a new meaning; it became an economic term. By the new meaning of the phrase, Australia is a First World country because it is rich.

Australia has a stable society, which is headed by the British Monarch, who wields his Kingly powers through the Governor General who is resident in Australia. The country also has a Parliament made up of the House of Representatives, and the Senate.

Australia also has a Prime Minister, who is the actual head of government; although the legal figurehead of government is the Governor General who answers to the King.

Australia is a stable country with an unbroken government system that has never had any internal conflict. As you may know, this is an important ingredient for growth of any economy because a stable society is very attractive to investors who bring money into the country- therefore providing jobs, reducing poverty, and generating wealth.

There are other less privileged countries that that have not attained this classification.

Second World Countries

Right below countries like Australia there are countries called Second World countries; they are those with less developed economies, as a result of poor infrastructure and sometimes poor governance structures.

Many of the Second World countries are located in Eastern Europe, but there are also in North Africa and Asia. Many of these Second World countries are quite industrialized; however, their industries are not as many or as efficient as one will find in richer countries.

Second World countries may alternatively be called developing economies, while those that are on their way to becoming industrialized may be referred to as “Emerging Markets.” This term is usually used by investors who mean to say that the country is good for investment; or that the market can sustain industry or production.

Third World Countries

Third World Countries are those that have the least amount of development. They are usually countries in Sub Saharan Africa, but they are also in some parts of Asia, as well as the Caribbean and Oceania.

In many cases war and internal conflict are identified as the major problem from which the issue of poverty springs forth. War causes destruction on a grand scale, and hinders development.

Investors run away from war torn areas, and they do not usually return for a long time. Furthermore, war destroys the educational system, so industries have a hard time finding capable hands.

Research and development of technology is usually lacking in these countries. Third World countries are mostly consumers, not producers.

Many Third World countries survive by selling raw materials to developed countries.



Australia is a First World Country both by the old meaning and by the new meaning. This is one of the richest countries in the world, with around 2.1 million millionaires, and 139 billionaires. Australia has excellent infrastructure, healthcare, education, and research facilities. It is one of the most sought after destinations in the world.