What developing country will become the next developed nation?




Darrell Francis, Economics BA, International Administration MA

This largely depends on how you define "developed". There are many countries in Eastern Europe which teeter on the edge of this definition. They have all the infrastructure from the Communist-era and many are now members of the EU, but incomes are much lower and they still receive development aid and have many social problems. Often, development is uneven. While Bratislava might be a beautiful, modern city, the rest of Slovakia is substantially poorer.

I attempted to make an objective measure using data from the United Nations Statistics Division, but I found that most definitions I used were surprisingly strict. I started by defining which countries were considered developed in 1970 and finding their aggregate GDP per capita each year since then. I then defined a developed country as one with a GDP per capita that was 50% or more than the aggregate of the predefined developed countries (excluding oil-dependent countries).

Using this definition, the only countries to become "developed" since 1970 were Cyprus, Portugal, Singapore, Slovenia, and South Korea  At this rate, we might only see 2 or 3 countries join their ranks in the near future. Of the 8 countries closest to reaching the 50% barrier, all are in the EU (Malta, Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Croatia, and Lithuania). Chile is about the only other country in the running, but it would have to match South Korea's record growth to break the 50% barrier in the next 20 years. If we lower the barrier to 40%, Latvia, Mexico, and Turkey have a fair chance.





Randy McDonald, B.A. English Literature & Anthropology, Queen's University at Kingston

Looking at the World Bank’s list of high-income economies, what becomes apparent is that a few unfortunate countries have dropped out of this category on account of their economic woes. Croatia, for instance, dropped out of this category in 2015 owing to lagging economic growth bringing it below the minimum threshold, while Russia’s brief tenure from 2012–2014 was ended by—among other things—the falling price of oil and the effect of sanctions. Argentina and Venezuela did briefly rank as high-income economies in 2014, but fell out of this category subsequently, Venezuela much more catastrophically than Argentina.

If we are to assume that “developing country” is synonymous with “Third World country”, i.e. a country that was part of neither the Western nor the Soviet blocs in the Cold War, two strong candidates are Argentina and Venezuela. Although currently relatively poor by the standards of high-income economies, these countries have traditionally been quite wealthy by world standards and even, before the 1970s, ranked reasonably highly on international income rankings. Of these two countries, I would say that Argentina, with the more diversified economy and stabler political system, is more likely to become a developed country than a Venezuela undergoing a general meltdown. Chile, which has made consistent progress since the end of the Pinochet dictatorship, is another possibility.

译文来源:三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/47397.html  译者:Joyceliu




Gabriel De Luca

I don't know the only one next coutry that will become developed but I'm going to list some of my guesses by priority:

NOTE: I'm not saying that all countries will develop step by step all at the same time, it will just flow gradually, some countries from different steps will develop first or lag behind.

1) Potential countries to join the Eurozone: Hungary, Poland, maybe Romania...

2) EU enlargement: Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina... (I'm expecting some economic miracle like the "Balkan Tigers" like what happened in the Baltic).

3) The Tiger Cub Economies: Malaysia, The Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand (Maybe Brunei and Vietnam in the future)

4) The Gulf Countries (Highly speculative, debatable): UAE, Quatar, Bahrain. Maybe Kwait, Saudi Arabia and Oman, (only if those countries diversify their economies in time)

5) The Pacific Pumas (debatable): Chile, Mexico and Colombia. (It is quite improbable but Peru can be added to the team)

5.1) Futher EU enlargement? Maybe?: Ukraine and Turkey(?).

5.2) Argentina maybe?

6) BRICS: China, Brasil, India, Russia and maybe South Africa. These countries are not higher in this priority list because they (not counting S. Africa) have a HUGE population and a HUGE territory, it's a bit hard to develop fast with those conditions.

7) The debatable countries: Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt and Nigeria.

8) The even more debatable countries: Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Algeria and Iraq(?).














Martin Devasia, studied at St Augustine's College

Most answers here say that countries like UAE, Qatar and Bahrain and even Kuwait are still developing countries, but given that the most important metrics for development are HDI and GDP per capita (GDP distributed evenly among the Population) we can see that all the above mentioned countries score really high on these metrics, for example how can Qatar still be a developing country when it is the world’s richest country? UAE is also one of the most richest countries in the world as well as Kuwait, so how can these countries be developing? in addition to that one characteristic all developed countries share is the fact that they have low growth rates, a typical developed country grows at 1–2% annually, all the above mentioned countries grow around the same rate, now here are the countries I believe will become developed in the next 20 years:

Malaysia (HDI: 0.779 GDP per capita: $10,538.06)

Oman (HDI: 0.793 GDP per capita: $21,929.01)

Turkey (HDI: 0.761 GDP per capita: $10,971.66)

Sri Lanka (HDI: 0.757 GDP per capita: $3,279.89)

Poland (HDI: 0.855 GDP per capita: $13,647.96)

Saudi Arabia (HDI: 0.782 GDP per capita: $25,961.81)

If you have any suggestions I can update the list.

大多数答案提到了阿联酋、卡塔尔和巴林甚至科威特这些国家仍然是发展中国家,但是考虑到发展的最重要的指标是人类发展指数(HDI)和人均国内生产总值(人均GDP),我们可以看到,所有上述国家在这些指标上的得分很高,例如卡塔尔是世界上最富有的国家,怎么还只是发展中国家?阿联酋和科威特一样也是世界上最富有的国家之一,那么这些国家怎么会是发展中国家呢?除此之外所有发达国家的一个共同特征是,他们的增长率较低,典型发达国家每年增长1 - 2%,所有上述国家的增长速度都相同,我相信以下国家将在未来20年成为发达国家:

马来西亚(HDI: 0.779人均GDP: 10,538.06美元)

阿曼(HDI: 0.793人均GDP: 21,929.01美元)

土耳其(HDI: 0.761人均GDP: 10,971.66美元)

斯里兰卡(HDI: 0.757人均GDP: 3,279.89美元)

波兰(HDI: 0.855人均GDP: 13,647.96美元)

沙特阿拉伯(HDI: 0.782:人均GDP: 25961.81美元)


Shahrul Nizam, Bachelor Degree Management, University of Selangor (2005)

Since gaining independence in 1957, Malaysia has successfully diversified its economy from one that was initially agriculture and commodity-based, to one that now plays host to robust manufacturing and services sectors, that have propelled it to become a leading exporter of electrical appliances, electronic parts and components.

Malaysia is one of the most open economies in the world, with a trade to GDP ratio averaging over 130 percent since 2010. Openness to trade and investment have been instrumental in employment creation and income growth, with about 40 percent of jobs in Malaysia linked to export activities. After the Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998, Malaysia’s economy has been on an upward trajectory, averaging growth of 5.4 percent since 2010, and is expected to achieve its transition from an upper middle-income economy to a high-income economy by 2024.




Mehran Janghorbani, Use economic theories in my work almost daily

Very interesting question with a really difficult answer, basically three factors are required for economic growth (Todaro, 1994):

1) capital accumulation

2) workforce growth

3) technological advances

I suggest that you do an exercise and post the results here for us all, create an excel sheet and multiply the amount of their capital account balance x their rate of population growth x the amount of money they spend in R&D

The countries with the highest numbers should be the ones to watch out for with a good degree of confidence. Remember to adjust your numbers for PPP

Hope this helps

N.B: I wrote this in a hurry and could not consult the literature, if anyone knows of better metrics to represent the three factors or if someone wants to propose a more complicated model, I would be very happy if you could comment and correct me.

这是一个非常有趣的问题,很难回答,基本上经济增长需要三个因素(Todaro, 1994):









Ben Zupnick, Political and Development Economist, Blogger

Mr. Sims answer is a pretty solid list, it really depends on your definition of "developed". Are you talking about macroeconomics, or a more human centered approach (including political freedoms / human rights, no extreme poverty, relatively egalitarian gains, etc; the much more difficult goal to attain but much more important in terms of "sustainable" gained). This more holistic approach to development is sometimes known as "modernization".

The NYT published an article today highlighting Africa's development prospects / pitfalls. On one hand, there have been gains in FDI, personal consumption, and extreme poverty alleviation, important aspects of development. On the other hand, these countries remain extremely unequal and lack many infrastructures most people would associate with development (particularly in rural areas). They also suffer from extreme corruption, insecurity / armed conflict, and rely too heavily on extractive industries (not a recipe for sustainable development).  

I would add Nigeria to the list as well. I also think the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) must all be considered "developing", despite any social problems present in those countries.





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