"Developing Country" being eliminated from World Bank vocabulary

The term "developing country" will be eliminated from the World Bank's 2016 edition of World Development Indicators.

The shift will no longer differentiate between "developed" and "developing" in an effort to paint a more clear picture of geographic distribution of poverty and prosperity.

The previous distinction of "developing country" has never been officially agreed upon by scholars. The International Monetary Fund has said the difference between advanced and emerging markets "is not based on strict criteria, economic or otherwise" despite labeling 159 nations with these terms.

“The main issue is that there is just so much heterogeneity between Malawi and Malaysia for both to be classified in the same group—Malaysia is more like the US than Malawi,” says Umar Serajuddin, a senior economist in the World Bank’s statistics office. “When we lump disparate countries together in the same group, it isn’t really useful.”

Rather than contrast between markets as the world shifts from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the World Bank is recognising that development is every country's problem.

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