Is The UK A First World Country?

The UK is one of the most developed economies in the world, with one of the most respected currencies, and one of the most advanced societies. Politically, this is one of the most influential countries in the world, and one of the most attractive destinations for immigration.

The United Kingdom colonized such countries as Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand- all of which are first world countries, with highly advanced societies, and wealthy citizens.

The United Kingdom, as one of the richest countries in the world, is the origin of many of the investments that are seen in other countries.

Is The UK A First World Country?

The short answer is Yes, the UK is the first among First World countries, and the yard stick against which other countries measure their development. The UK plays major roles in the development of other economies, and it also maintains strategic partnerships with former colonies Australia, USA, Singapore, Canada, and New Zealand.

However, it is important to note that there are two possible meanings to the phrase Third World country. It is therefore necessary to know the exact context, otherwise even a correct answer can be wrong.

The Old Meaning

The phrase “First World Countries” was first used during the years of the Cold War. At that time it had a political meaning, and was used to describe countries that supported the US and its allies as they fought against the Soviet Union.

As the US’ oldest and most dependable ally the UK played a key role in the war, and was central to the outcome. Therefore, the UK is a First World country by the old definition of the phrase.

By the old meaning; First World Countries meant the European Allies of the US such as France and Germany, and powerful former colonies of the UK such as Canada and Australia.

It also had other connotations; First World countries were Capitalist countries. They also gave more freedoms to their citizens.

On the other side of the coin “Second World” Countries were those that backed the Soviet Union as it fought against the Americans and its allies.

These were Communist countries, and also countries that had strong diplomatic ties with the USSR. Mostly they were located in Eastern Europe, and some parts of Asia.

Most of the communist countries didn’t have free societies, and they experienced a lot of emigration as citizens preferred to leave. Interestingly, many of them including the top brains preferred to move to First World countries.

The New Meaning

The phrase had become quite popular by the time the Cold War ended, and so it had to be assigned a new meaning so as to ensure its continued usage.

After the Cold War, it was given an economic connotation. Now, First World countries are rich countries with strong economies, wealthy citizens, and heavily industrialization, and low levels of unemployment.

Furthermore, they often have high literacy levels, high life expectancy, and happy societies. First World countries have very good healthcare structures, and their societies are well governed.

Governance plays an important role in the economic development of any country. When a country is well governed, peaceful and stable, it becomes attractive to investors who pour money into the country, thereby creating jobs, and generating wealth.

By this definition as well, the UK is a First World country, as is shown by the following.

The UK Has A Smooth Political Structure

The UK is a constitutional monarchy. The Monarch has executive powers which he only exercises with the advice of Counsel, and the Counsel are selected by the Parliament. Parliament is in turn elected by the people.

Therefore, there is a rough balance in the country, and that balance is protected by the Supreme Court. Interestingly, the UK has no constitution; instead it has a several documents charters and court judgments which serve to remind the realm of the tenets upon which the country was built.

The UK is one of the most politically stable countries you will ever find; the country has shifted from government to government without any hint of trouble. This means the country is one of the most desirable grounds for investors; as it is, money comes into the UK from every corner of the world.

The UK Has An Excellent Economy

The UK has an excellent economy; the Great British Pound is one of the most traded and most recognized currencies in the world. London is the world’s capital for foreign exchange trading, and one of the world’s capital of the Finance Industry.

Other important sectors of the UK economy include industry; auto manufacture, shipbuilding, boat building, and the aerospace industry.

The Services industry is also very important; it employs a good portion of the country’s workforce, and keeps money in circulation.

Agriculture, Sports, and the Creative Industries are also very important in the UK; the country is one of the most important grounds for football, and other sports.

Freedom To Citizens

Freedom of expression, freedom of worship, and freedom of association are core tenets of the British brand of democracy; these freedoms are protected by the legal system insofar as they are not used to threaten or bring harm to other members of society.

High Literacy Rate

The UK has a very high literacy rate; it is put at 99%. This means most people in the country can read and write, and so they can find jobs to support themselves and their families. The UK is also the country of choice for most people who can afford to study abroad; there are various prestigious institutions of learning in the country.



The UK is a First World country by any way one may choose to define it; it is first in political influence and first in economic development. This is one of the world’s most advanced societies, and one of the freest societies to live in. The UK is one of the most sought after destinations for both investors and migrant workers.