The CIA notes that the Developed Countries form
- the top group in the hierarchy of developed countries (DCs), former USSR/Eastern Europe (former USSR/EE), and less developed countries (LDCs);
The CIA argues that this list
- includes the market-oriented economies of the mainly democratic nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
However, ten new countries have joined the OECD since this list was created in the early 1990s: Mexico (1994), the Czech Republic (1995), South Korea (1996), Hungary (1996), Poland (1996), Slovakia (2000), Chile (2010), Estonia (2010), Slovenia (2010) and Israel (2010).
The CIA adds;
- Bermuda, Israel, South Africa, and the European ministates
to the list, alongside the OECD members. The criteria for including these states are not mentioned.
The CIA argues that the countries in its list are;
- also known as the First World, high-income countries, the North, industrial countries;
The CIA notes that these countries;
- generally have a per capita GDP in excess of $15,000; although four OECD countries and South Africa have figures well under $15,000; and eight of the excluded OPEC countries have figures of more than $20,000.
These descriptions are based on 2010 GDP per capita figures. As of 2011, five members of the OECD have a GDP per capita of less than $15,000 in nominal terms (Chile, Hungary, Poland, Turkey and Mexico) and only four OPEC countries have a GDP per capita that is higher than $20,000 (Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia).
The CIA notes that the 34 Developed Countries (DCs) are as follows:
The CIA concludes its definition with the note that this list is;
- similar to the new International Monetary Fund (IMF) term "advanced economies" that adds Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan; but drops Malta, Mexico, South Africa, and Turkey.
This description is based on an old version of the IMF's list and also erroneously implies that Mexico is on the CIA's Developed Country (DC) list.