According to Wikipedia,

A developed country (or industrialized country, high-income country, more economically developed country (MEDC)) is a sovereign state that has a high quality of life, developed economy, and advanced technological infrastructure relative to other less industrialized nations.

Is there any country that jumped from developing to developed status during the past 75 years after WW2 except the Asian Tigers + Japan?

  • 5
    Please include a link to a source describing what developed/developing status means, as you understand them.
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 12:49
  • 2
    Also, what countries are included in the Asian tigers (full list) Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 12:58

3 Answers 3


Although this isn't a perfect list, one can use entry into Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as a proxy for development status. Wikipedia has a dated list of entry

Country Date of Entry into OECD
Costa Rica 2021
Colombia 2020
Lithuania 2018
Latvia 2016
Estonia 2010
Israel 2010
Slovenia 2010
Chile 2010
Slovakia 2000
South Korea 1996
Hungary 1996
Poland 1996
Czech Republic 1995
Mexico 1994
New Zealand 1973
Australia 1971
Finland 1969
Japan 1964
Italy 1962

Many countries are listed as joining in 1961, but this is simply the date of the founding of the OECD (note the US and UK as joining then, when presumably they had been developed for significantly earlier than that)

Going through this list manually, it seems that some of these entries, like Australia might be administrative, rather than associated with development.

Using this information, I might suggest a subset, namely those that have entered past 1995. This includes primarily former soviet countries recovering from the cold war, Israel, and South/Central American countries.

To this list I might add Portugal, which, although obviously developed today, struggled with literacy and GDP until the early 1950s. (Mostly expenditure from colonial struggles, problems with the obsolete corporatist economic model)

  • 4
    where are Singapore, Taiwan, and HK in this list?
    – user366312
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 14:05
  • 4
    Well, Taiwan and Hong Kong are not internationally recognized countries. Not sure about singapore. I might have missed it. NOTE: Nope, I checked, Singapore is not part of the OECD according to that wiki source
    – code11
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 15:32
  • 2
    All the pre-1990 entries were well developed prior to WWII. The Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia) had been well-developed, but were occupied by the Soviet Union. Likewise the Warsaw Pact countries on the list.
    – jamesqf
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 16:10
  • 1
    @jamesqf Well, some of them were well developed mainly before WWII. And then their economy was destroyed by the war, but even more by the communist central planing, lack of investments, and exporting to USSR for pennies. Now they are clearly below the EU average. pre-1900 Bohemia even appears in this list en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… and Poland until 1930. Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 13:01

According to the OECD or Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, there are several countries that have recently become developed. Lithuania has been considered developed since 2018, Latvia since 2016, Estonia since 2010, Slovenia since 2010, Czech Republic since 1995, & Slovakia since 2000. These nations, according to the OECD and their own terms, these are countries that have become 'advanced economies' and have reached the kind of status necessary in order to be considered developed. The United Nations has different standards saying you are developed if you have a HDI or human development index over 0.8 so they considered Lithuania to be developed since 2005, Latvia since 2005, Estonia since 2003, Czech Republic since 2001, Slovakia since 2006, Portugal since 2005, Hungary since 2005, Costa Rica since 2019, Serbia since 2019, Poland since 2003, Argentina since 2006, Liechtenstein since 2000, and Cyprus since 2001.

  • 1
    I was wondering how Liechtenstein fit in there. One of the sub factors of the HDI is GNI. I believe until 1999 GNI was first hard, then soft capped at 40,000. I don't know Liechtenstein's scores for the other sub factors, but the removal of this cap allowed the small country to jump above the .8 level required to be considered developed. source (end page 25)
    – code11
    Commented Jun 9, 2021 at 20:38

If we use income as a proxy for "developed, the World Bank lists some high-income economies with their date of becoming developed. The list appears to have started in 1987, so there's a substantial period of time after World War 2 missed. On the other hand, there are several countries that became listed after 1987. Some examples are:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Brunei
  • Barbados
  • Chile
  • Mauritius
  • Oman
  • Seychelles
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Uruguay

See the list for more. If you are also interested in non-countries, the section also gives some examples:

  • British Virgin Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • New Caledonia
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saint Martin
  • Taiwan
  • A fair number of the items on your lists are entities known for being tax havens and/or having large expat populations. Do/should they count? That's not a rhetorical question, I really don't know. Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 12:00
  • 1
    @JaredSmith Do/should they count? -- you'd have to ask OP.
    – Allure
    Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 12:11

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