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Newly industrialized countries

List of current emerging markets

There is no generally binding definition of the term "emerging market." It refers to countries that, based on their economic performance, can be classified as developing countries as well as industrialized countries. The term "emerging market country" is best described as "newly industrialized country."

Currently, 10 countries belong to this classification, most of which are located in southern and eastern Asia. The largest economies among them currently are China, India and Brazil. In total, these 10 countries have 3.80 billion inhabitants, which is about 48.13 percent of the world's population.
world map Newly industrialized countries
CountryPopulationGNI per capitaHuman Development IndexHuman Asset Index
Brazil214.3 M7,740 USD0.75495.9
China1,412.4 M11,880 USD0.76895.7
India1,407.6 M2,150 USD0.63374.3
Indonesia273.8 M4,180 USD0.70583.3
Malaysia33.6 M10,710 USD0.80389.5
Mexico126.7 M9,590 USD0.75894.9
Philippines113.9 M3,550 USD0.69984.3
South Africa59.4 M6,530 USD0.71386.2
Thailand71.6 M7,090 USD0.80094.0
Turkey84.8 M9,900 USD0.83897.1


Description of an Emerging Market

What all countries have in common is above-average economic growth. The idea that this growth must take place predominantly in the industrial sector is now considered outdated. Countries such as India, for example, have achieved their strong growth primarily in the service sector.

Since there is no binding definition of emerging markets, states other than those listed here are occasionally mentioned. Often these are Argentina, Egypt, Sri Lanka and Russia. The World Bank maintains a comparable list of 55 countries under the "upper-middle-income economies" classification. The International Monetary Fund calls its own list "emerging and developing economies" and names 150 countries.

Social and economic problems on the way to becoming an industrial nation

The development of a less developed country into an industrialized nation is associated with far-reaching problems. Strong growth is often associated with high inflation rates and drastic financial crises. The gap between the poor and the rich population increases rapidly during this time. Government intervention in areas such as social security, education, subsidies for selected sectors of the economy and anti-corruption measures lead to a disproportionate increase in public debt. Unemployment rates are also affected to a high degree, so private over-indebtedness is also the norm. The road to becoming an industrial nation involves many cuts and reforms for the state, companies and population, and usually takes decades.

Key figures in comparison

(All figures weighted according to population share.)
 Newly industrialized countriesWorldUSA
Total population3.8 bn7.9 bn331.9 m
GNP per capita6,931 USD12,023 USD70,930 USD
Government debt (% of GDP)55.1 %93.9 %119.0 %
Expenditure on education (% of GDP)4.1 %4.3 %6.1 %
Unemployment rate6.2 %6.2 %5.5 %
Literacy rate88.4 %86.8 %0.0 %
Electricity access99.1 %90.4 %100.0 %
Birth rate13.4 ‰17.2 ‰10.9 ‰
Life expectancy73.6 years72.3 years77.3 years


Heavily Indebted Poor CountriesList of the 36 Heavily Indebted Poor CountriesInformation on the 36 heavily indebted states that could not survive without subsidies.
Least developed countriesList of the 47 Least Developed CountriesDefinition and list of the 47 countries of the fourth world with inhabitants, geographical classification and further information
Developing countriesList of 152 developing countriesList of all 152 developing countries with below-average living standards