What Is a List of Countries Under Socialism?

As of 2015, there are only four countries in the world that formally identify themselves as socialist: China, Cuba, Vietnam and Laos. There is no formal criteria for socialist classification, however, and there is great debate about other nations with governments that closely embrace socialist practices.

According to the Socialist Party of the United Kingdom, there are no countries in the world that are purely socialist. Socialism is a form of government in which the working class people own and operate businesses as a whole rather than as individuals. This is often mistaken for the complete elimination of private ownership and the government assuming corporate control. In a truly socialist government, the ownership of corporations is shifted to the entire workforce, so that the greatest majority of the people benefit equally from corporate profit and trade rather than a few.

Those who support socialism believe that more widespread ownership would lead to less worker oppression and dissatisfaction, and ultimately result in more even distribution of government-provided benefits. Proponents also believe that socialism is actually a more democratic system than capitalism, because it cuts the high wages often received by corporate executives and politicians that create inequalities in a democratic society.