First, Second, Third, and Fourth World CountriesThe designation of "Third World" countries was created by Alfred Sauvy, a French demographer, in an article that he wrote for the French magazine, L'Observateur in 1952, after World War II and during the Cold War-era. The terms "First World," "Second World," and "Third World" countries were used to differentiate between democratic countries, communist countries, and those countries that did not align with democratic or communist countries. The terms have since evolved to refer to levels of development, but they have become outdated and are no longer used to distinguish between countries that are considered developed versus those that are considered developing.
First World described the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) countries and their allies, which were democratic, capitalist and industrialized. The First World included most of North America and Western Europe, Japan, and Australia.
Second World described the communist-socialist states. These countries were, like First World countries, industrialized. The Second world included the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and China.
Third World described those countries that did not align with either the First World or Second World countries after World War II and generally described less-developed countries. The Third World included the developing nations of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Fourth World was coined in the 1970s, referring to the nations of indigenous people that live within a country. These groups often face discrimination and forced assimilation. They are among the poorest in the world.
Global North and Global SouthThe terms "Global North" and "Global South" divide the world in half both geographically with the Global North meaning all countries north of the equator in the Northern Hemisphere and the Global South being all of the countries south of the equator in the Southern Hemisphere. This classification groups the Global North into the rich northern countries, and the Global South into the poor southern countries. This differentiation is based on the fact that most of developed countries are in the north and most of the developing or underdeveloped countries are in the south. The issue with this classification is that not all countries in the Global North can be called "developed" while some of the countries in the Global South can be called developed.
In the Global North, some examples of the developing countries include: Haiti, Nepal, Afghanistan, and many of the countries in northern Africa.
In the Global South, some examples of the well-developed countries include: Australia, South Africa, and Chile.