the Third World


During the Cold War, the Third World referred to the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the nations not aligned with either the First World or the Second World.

A developing country, also called a less developed country or an underdeveloped country, is a nation with a less developed industrial base and a low Human Development Index relative to other countries.

Asia is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres and sharing the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe.

The concept of First World originated during the Cold War and included countries that were generally aligned with NATO and opposed to the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

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This usage has become relatively rare due to the ending of the Cold War.

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In the decade following the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War in 1991, the term Third World was used interchangeably with developing countries, but the concept has become outdated as it no longer represents the current political or economic state of the world.

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, abbreviated as the USSR, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991.

The dissolution of the Soviet Union occurred on 26 December 1991, officially granting self-governing independence to the Republics of the Soviet Union.

The Cold War period of 1985–1991 began with the rise of Mikhail Gorbachev as leader of the Soviet Union.


The three-world model arose during the Cold War to define countries aligned with NATO, the Communist Bloc, or neither.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty which was signed on 4 April 1949.

The Eastern Bloc was the group of communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact.

The terms First World, Second World, and Third World were originally used to divide the world's nations into three categories.


Strictly speaking, "Third World" was a political, rather than an economic, grouping.


Since about the 2000s the term Third World has been used less and less.


It is being replaced with terms such as developing countries, least developed countries or the Global South.

The Global South is a term that has been emerging in transnational and postcolonial studies to refer to what may also be called the "Developing World", "developing countries," "less developed countries," and "less developed regions."

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