Historical Events  Geography

Is Switzerland is a third world country?

MMDE: Switzerland is not a third world country

Current: Switzerland is a third world country

When you think of third world countries, it's usually the most poverty stricken. So if someone told you Switzerland is one, you'd probably ask what they've been smoking.

However, it turns out there is a reason it's true. The origins of the terms First World, Second World and Third World to describe global areas goes back to the cold war, when the groups meant (broadly) "those aligned with the West" (First World), "Those aligned with the East" (Second World) and "The rest".

After the fall of the Soviet Union, the term "Second World" fell into disuse, so it just left the countries not aligned to either of the first two left over, and since Switzerland is neutral, it logically falls into the Third World category.

Outdated definition

It is unusual that a term with such a clear original definition has morphed into something meaning exactly the opposite, as we see with the "Third World" term coming to mean poor/developing, yet including Switzerland with is the exact opposite of both.

In fact there is a new definition specifically for the groups just described, of which, unsurprisingly, Switzerland is not a member. These are termed LDCs, meaning "Least Developed Countries", and more information can be found at worldpopulationreview.com.