Developing countries are countries that haven't reached Western-style standards of democratic government, free market economy, industrialization, social programs, and human rights guaranties for their citizens.
Countries with more advanced economies than other developing nations, but which have not yet fully demonstrated the signs of a developed country, are grouped under the term newly industrialized countries. Other developing countries which have maintained sustained economic growth over the years and exhibit good economic potential are termed as emerging markets. The Big Emerging Market (BEM) economies are Argentina, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey. The application of the term developing country to any country which is not developed is inappropriate because a number of poor countries have experienced prolonged periods of economic decline. Such countries are classified as either least developed countries or failed states.
Development entails a modern infrastructure (both physical and institutional), and a move away from low value added sectors such as agriculture and natural resource extraction. Developed countries, in comparison, usually have economic systems based on continuous, self-sustaining economic growth in the tertiary and quaternary sectors and high standards of living.
Developing countries are in general countries which have not achieved a significant degree of industrialization relative to their populations, and which have, in most cases a medium to low standard of living. There is a strong correlation between low income and high population growth.
The terms utilized when discussing developing countries refer to the intent and to the constructs of those who utilize these terms. Other terms sometimes used are less developed countries (LDCs), least economically developed countries (LEDCs), "underdeveloped nations" or Third World nations, and "non-industrialized nations". Conversely, the opposite end of the spectrum is termed developed countries, most economically developed countries (MEDCs), First World nations and "industrialized nations".
To moderate the euphemistic aspect of the word developing, international organizations have started to use the term Less economically developed country (LEDCs) for the poorest nations which can in no sense be regarded as developing. That is, LEDCs are the poorest subset of LDCs. This also moderates the wrong tendency to believe that the standard of living in the entire developing world is the same.
The concept of the developing nation is found, under one term or another, in numerous theoretical systems having diverse orientations — for example, theories of decolonization, liberation theology, Marxism, anti-imperialism, and political economy.
Countries are often loosely placed into four categories of development. Each category includes the countries listed in their respective article. The term "developing nation" is not a label to assign a specific, similar type of problem.