Is The US A First World Country?

Seeing that the US invented the phrase First World country, it would be hard to imagine that it would be anything but a first world country. The purpose of this article therefore is not to say that it is- that much is pretty obvious. We would rather concern ourselves with providing evidence, or reasons why this great country deserves this classification.

The US occupies prime land in North America; it is so vast that it stretches from sea to shining sea. The USA has a population of around 330 million people, living in a land area of about 3,796,742 sq miles. The US is made up of 50 states and 326 Indian reservations.

The US also has several overseas territories and dependencies, as well as free associations with a few sovereign states.

Is The US A First World Country?

The short answer is yes, the US is a first world country in both contexts of the phrase. That’s right, the phrase “First World” has evolved over the years. Do you know what it means?

The phrase “First World” was invented during the Cold War; it was used to describe countries that supported the USA and its allies as they fought against the Soviet Union and its allies.

The phrase was invented by Americans; and the US was the standard against which other countries were measured to determine whether or not they merited the title.

First World countries, as a rule were Capitalist Countries, or at least countries that leaned towards capitalism.

First World Countries generally had peaceful, democratic societies, and they gave plenty of freedoms to their citizens.

They were mostly located in Western Europe, North America, and included countries like Australia and New Zealand.

On The Other Side

On the other side of the political divide; countries that supported the Soviet Union were called “Second World” countries. These were mostly counties in Eastern Europe, as well as some parts of Asia.

Second World countries were those that upheld and defended the communist ideology. They believed that every citizen should contribute to the sustenance of the state, and that the means of production and distribution of resources should belong to everyone equally.

Second World countries granted less freedom to their citizens, and they also made their societies somewhat militarized. It is important to note that the world saw a marked trend of emigration from the Second World to First World countries.

The Current Meaning Of “First World”

The phrase “First World” was assigned a new meaning after the conclusion of the Cold War; this time the meaning was more economic than political, although the countries involved remained the same.

First World now means rich countries; those with stable societies, strong economies driven by production, wealthy citizens, and social safety nets.

First World countries generally have high carbon footprints; this is because it takes a lot of fuel to drive their production based economies.

They also have high literacy rates, high life expectancy, and quality infrastructure. First World countries of today include most of Western Europe; former UK colonies such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and so on.

The world continues to see rising immigration figures into the First World countries.

On The Other Side

The current world economic order is more of a pyramid than a two sided coin- there are “First World,” “Second World,” “Third World” countries. We have already discussed the “First World” countries, so now let us take a look at the countries below that classification.

“Second World” countries are those with less developed economies. Their industries are fewer, and less efficient, and they have less impact on the global market.

Second World countries have poverty, lack of literacy, and so many other problems facing them, but they still manage to record some growth, even if it is not very consistent.

Second World countries that are experiencing growth and have the potential to develop more are called “Developing Countries” or “Emerging Markets.” The later term is used by investors to describe countries that have shown that they have the potential to be profitable- they are ripe for investing.

Third World Countries

This is the bottom of the pyramid; it mostly consists of countries in sub Saharan Africa; as well as some countries in Asia and Oceania. Third World countries have very little industrialization; their economies are poor, and can hardly support their people.

Third World countries usually have war or conflict situations just around the corner; many of them are just coming out of wars, and so they do not have the means to support industry.

These countries are the least attractive to investors because they are afraid of losing everything the next time they sound the drums of war. Furthermore, the frequent fighting usually destroys the education system, which means that these countries do not have skilled workers to man the industries.

Third World countries usually subsist on agriculture, mining, or sometimes tourism.

How The USA Performs

The USA is an excellent country in every sense of the word. It has an excellent economy driven by technology, and is one of the leading grounds for the production of computers, mobile phones, and automobiles.

The USA is a major economic force; its currency is the currency of the world; which is used in most international transactions.

This country has one of the most developed economies in the world; some of the major sectors being manufacturing (including military hardware), services, tourism, medical services and so on.

Even though the USA is not a welfare state, it has excellent medical facilities, and this availability of healthcare helps the population remain healthy and live long lives.



The US is the first of the “First World” countries; it is the standard against which other countries are measured to see whether they merit that status. It is for this reason that the US is the number one destination for migrants; many go there for political reasons, and for economic betterment.

The US is one of the freest countries in the world, and one of the best for literacy, human development, and security.