Political Geography

The World Today

Why do third world countries no longer exist?

The term “third world” was part of the classification of countries during the Cold War. This classification designated those countries aligned with the United States as “first world,” those countries aligned with the Soviet Union as “second world,” and those countries that were nonaligned as “third world.” Over time, the term “third world” came to mean a poorer or less-developed country. With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the acceptance of democracy in Russia and Eastern Europe, the classification no longer exists. The preferred terms are now “developed” countries and “less-developed” (or “developing”) countries.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Geography Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App