"Developing" nations

Is there a current measure used to define what constitutes a “developing” nation (what used to be called a “Third World” country)? Equally, is there a globally, or at least internationally, agreed figure for minimum acceptable (probably daily) income needed to sustain life?

Probably not. AFAIK, it’s a vague sort of claim.

There certainly shouldn’t be a minimum acceptable income because it would be zero for various groups such as subsistence farmers and hunter-gatherers. Not everyone lives in the globalized economy.

The US Agency for International Development has this list (PDF) of what it considers to be the “least developed countries.”

I disagree. I’m not trying to give valuations here, but I guess nowadays global economic developments can have an impact on virtually every form of earning a living, including subsistence farmers and hunter-gatherers. Technological and economic upswing in a country can affect those as well: It becomes more profitable to use land for other purposes, or the farmer can afford to use machinery or fertilizers to increase yields.

Take the Arabian Gulf emirates, for example: Many of them used to be poor regions earning their living mostly by means of agriculture and pearl trade. The oil discoveries drastically changed their lifestyles within very few decades.

As for the OP, the World Bank offers this list of developing countries. The categorization seems to include various factors, such as per capita GNP, illiteracy rate and infrastructure.

Our Political Science class had a color-coded
UN map with an extensive legend explaining which countries where which according to things like GNP, etc. Your best source might be with the UN website.

I think this is just semantic: there’s a difference between “living in the globalized economy” and “the globalized economy having an impact on you.”

Subsistence farmers by definition grow enough to feed themselves, but there are no sales and therefore no income. So how do they afford machinery or fertilizer?

I’d say the biggest impact the globalized economy has on these two groups is to have others come in and take their land. This seems to happen even to groups deep in the Amazon, but not so much in incredibly remote places like the inland valleys of New Guinea. While being forced off your land may eventually cause someone to migrate to a city and then become a part of the globalized economy, I don’t see what their outputs to or inputs from the globalized economy are before that point. Even international aid doesn’t reach deep into the most remote places on Earth.

Yes, check out the UN website, particularly the UN Human Development Reports and the Millennium Development Goals, to see what is considered important RE a state or region’s development.

There is a measure called Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) which does a sort of “what a big mac costs in each country”, and makes it possible to compare GDPs. (Sorry I’m not explaining this very well, someone else will come along and say it better. Too tired from writing assignments.)

There is also the “poverty line” which is set for each country.

What I meant was that they stop being subsistence farmers. Economic progress in a country results in people who used to work in the agriculture to move to other sectors; people who stay in the agricultural sector start increasing their productivity (by starting to use machinery or fertilizers) in order to compensate for the loss of food-producing manpower.

That’s by no means an absolute, particularly as only a relative handful of countries have produced enough decent non-agricultural jobs too handle displaced populations.