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Country Classification

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Country classification
Data sources, country classifications and aggregation methodology
The statistical annex contains a set of data that the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) employs to delineate trends in various dimensions of the world economy.

Data sources
The annex was prepared by the Development Policy and Analysis Division (DPAD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat (UN/DESA). It is based on information obtained from the Statistics Division and the Population Division of UN/DESA, as well as from the five United Nations regional commissions, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and national and private sources. Estimates for the most recent years were made by DPAD in consultation with the regional commissions, UNCTAD, UNWTO and participants in Project LINK, an international collaborative research group for econometric modelling coordinated jointly by DPAD and the University of Toronto. Forecasts for 2014 and 2015 are primarily based on the World Economic Forecasting Model of DPAD, with support from Project LINK. Data presented in WESP may differ from those published by other organizations for a series of reasons, including differences in timing, sample composition and aggregation methods. Historical data may differ from those in previous editions of WESP because of updating and changes in the availability of data for individual countries.

Country classifications
For analytical purposes, WESP classifies all countries of the world into one of three broad categories: developed economies, economies in transition and developing economies. The composition of these groupings, specified in tables A, B and C, is intended to reflect basic economic country conditions. Several countries (in particular the economies in transition) have characteristics that could place them in more than one category; however, for purposes of analysis, the groupings have been made mutually exclusive. Within each broad category, some subgroups are defined based either on geographical location or on ad hoc criteria, such as the subgroup of “major developed economies”, which is based on the membership of the Group of Seven. Geographical regions for developing economies are as follows: Africa, East Asia, South Asia, Western Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.1

Names and composition of geographical areas follow those specified in the statistical paper entitled “Standard country or area codes for statistical use” (ST/ESA/STAT/SER.M/49/Rev. 4).


World Economic Situation and Prospects 2014

In parts of the analysis, a distinction is made between fuel exporters and fuel importers from among the economies in transition and the developing countries. An economy is classified as a fuel exporter if the share of fuel exports in its total merchandise exports is greater than 20 per cent and the level of fuel exports is at least 20 per cent higher than that of the country’s fuel imports. This criterion is drawn from the share of fuel exports in the total value of world merchandise trade. Fuels include coal, oil and natural gas (table D). For other parts of the analysis, countries have been classified by their level of development as measured by per capita gross national income (GNI). Accordingly, countries have been grouped as high-income, upper middle income, lower middle income and low-income (table E). To maintain compatibility with similar classifications used elsewhere, the threshold levels of GNI per capita are those established by the World Bank. Countries with less than $1,035 GNI per capita are classified as low-income countries, those with between $1,036 and $4,085 as lower middle income countries, those with between $4,086 and $12,615 as upper middle income countries, and those with incomes of more than $12,615 as high-income countries. GNI per capita in dollar terms is estimated using the World Bank Atlas method, 2 and the classification in table E is based on data for 2012. The list of the least developed countries (LDCs) is decided upon by the United Nations Economic and Social Council and, ultimately, by the General Assembly, on the basis of recommendations made by the Committee for Development Policy. The basic criteria for inclusion require that certain thresholds be met with regard to per capita GNI, a human assets index and an economic vulnerability index.3 As at 29 November 2013, there were 49 LDCs (table F). WESP also makes reference to the group of heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs), which are considered by the World Bank and IMF as part of their debt-relief initiative (the Enhanced HIPC Initiative).4 In September 2013, there were 39 HIPCs (see table G).

Aggregation methodology
Aggregate data are either sums or weighted averages of individual country data. Unless otherwise indicated, multi-year averages of growth rates are expressed as compound annual percentage rates of change. The convention followed is to omit the base year in a multi-year growth rate. For example, the 10-year average growth rate for the decade of the 2000s would be identified as the average annual growth rate for the period from 2001 to 2010. WESP utilizes exchange-rate conversions of national data in order to aggregate output of individual countries into regional and global totals. The growth of output in each group of countries is calculated from the sum of gross domestic product (GDP) of individual countries measured at 2005 prices and exchange rates. Data for GDP in

2 3

See Handbook on the Least Developed Country Category: Inclusion, Graduation and Special Support Measures (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.07.II.A.9). Available from devplan/cdppublications/2008cdphandbook.pdf. IMF, Debt Relief Under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative Available from


Country classification


2005 in national currencies were converted into dollars (with selected adjustments) and extended forwards and backwards in time using changes in real GDP for each country. This method supplies a reasonable set of aggregate growth rates for a period of about 15 years, centred on 2005. The exchange-rate based method differs from the one mainly applied by the IMF and the World Bank for their estimates of world and regional economic growth, which is based on purchasing power parity (PPP) weights. Over the past two decades, the growth of world gross product (WGP) on the basis of the exchange-rate based approach has been below that based on PPP weights. This is because developing countries, in the aggregate, have seen significantly higher economic growth than the rest of the world in the 1990s and 2000s and the share in WGP of these countries is larger under PPP measurements than under market exchange rates.
Table A Developed economies
Europe European Union New EU member States Other Europe Other countries Major developed economies (G7)

EU-15 Austria Belgium Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Ireland Italy Luxembourg Netherlands Portugal Spain Sweden United Kingdom

Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Estonia Hungary Latvia Lithuania Malta Poland Romania Slovakia Slovenia

Iceland Norway Switzerland

Australia Canada Japan New Zealand United States

Canada Japan France Germany Italy United Kingdom United States

Table B Economies in transition
South-Eastern Europe Commonwealth of Independent States and Georgiaa

Albania Bosnia and Herzegovina Montenegro Serbia The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Armenia Azerbaijan Belarus Georgiaa Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan

Republic of Moldova Russian Federation Tajikistan Turkmenistan Ukraine Uzbekistan

a Georgia officially left the Commonwealth of Independent States on 18 August 2009. However, its performance is discussed in the context of this group of countries for reasons of geographic proximity and similarities in economic structure.


World Economic Situation and Prospects 2014

Table C Developing economies by regiona
Africa Asia Latin America and the Caribbean

North Africa Algeria Egypt Libyab Mauritania Morocco Sudan Tunisia Central Africa Cameroon Central African Republic Chad Congo Equatorial Guinea Gabon Sao Tome and Prinicipe East Africa Burundi Comoros Democratic Republic of the Congo Djibouti Eritrea Ethiopia Kenya Madagascar Rwanda Somalia a Economies systematically monitored by the Global Economic Monitoring Unit of DPAD. b The name of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya was officially changed to Libya on 16 September 2011. c Special Administrative Region of China.

Southern Africa Angola Botswana Lesotho Malawi Mauritius Mozambique Namibia South Africa Zambia Zimbabwe West Africa Benin Burkina Faso Cabo Verde Côte d’Ivoire Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Liberia Mali Niger Nigeria Senegal Sierra Leone Togo

East Asia Brunei Darussalam China Hong Kong SARc Indonesia Malaysia Myanmar Papua New Guinea Philippines Republic of Korea Singapore Taiwan Province of China Thailand Viet Nam South Asia Bangladesh India Iran (Islamic Republic of) Nepal Pakistan Sri Lanka Western Asia Bahrain Iraq Israel Jordan Kuwait Lebanon Oman Qatar Saudi Arabia Syrian Arab Repuplic Turkey United Arab Emirates Yemen

Caribbean Barbados Cuba Dominican Republic Guyana Haiti Jamaica Trinidad and Tobago Mexico and Central America Costa Rica El Salvador Guatemala Honduras Mexico Nicaragua Panama South America Argentina Bolivia (Plurinational State of) Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Paraguay Peru Uruguay Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)

Uganda United Republic of Tanzania

Country classification


Table D Fuel-exporting countries
Developing countries Economies in transition Latin America and the Caribbean Africa East Asia South Asia Western Asia

Azerbaijan Kazakhstan Russian Federation Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

Bolivia (Plurinational State of) Colombia Ecuador Trinidad and Tobago Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)

Algeria Angola Cameroon Chad Congo Côte d’Ivoire Egypt Equatorial Guinea Gabon Libya Nigeria Sudan

Brunei Darussalam Indonesia Viet Nam

Iran (Islamic Bahrain Republic of) Iraq Kuwait Oman Qatar Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates Yemen


World Economic Situation and Prospects 2014

Table E Economies by per capita GNI in 2012a
High-income Upper middle income Lower middle income Low-income

Australia Austria Bahrain Barbados Belgium Brunei Darussalam Canada Chileb Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Equatorial Guinea Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hong Kong SARd Iceland Ireland Israel Italy Japan Kuwait Latviab

Lithuaniab Luxembourg Malta Netherlands New Zealand Norway Oman Poland Portugal Qatar Republic of Korea Russian Federation Saudi Arabia Singapore Slovak Republic Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Taiwan Province of China Trinidad and Tobago United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay b b

Albaniab Algeria Angola Argentina Azerbaijan Belarus Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Brazil Bulgaria China Colombia Costa Rica Cuba Dominican Republic Ecuador Gabon Hungary c Jordan Kazakhstan Lebanon Libya Malaysia Mauritius Mexico Montenegro Namibia Panama Peru Romania Serbia South Africa Thailand The former Yugoslav Republc of Macedonia Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Venezuela, RB

Armenia Bolivia Cameroon Cape Verde Congo Côte d’Ivoire Djibouti Egypt El Salvador Georgia Ghana Guatemala Guyana Honduras India Indonesia Lesotho Mauritaniab Moldova Morocco Nicaragua Nigeria Pakistan Papua New Guinea Paraguay Philippines São Tomé and Principe Senegal Sri Lanka Sudan Syrian Arab Republic Ukraine Uzbekistan Vietnam Yemen, Rep. Zambia

Bangladesh Benin Burkina Faso Burundi Central African Republic Chad Comoros Democratic Republic of the Congo Eritrea Ethiopia Gambia, The Guinea Guinea-Bissau Haiti Kenya Kyrgyz Republic Liberia Madagascar Malawi Mali Mozambique Myanmar Nepal Niger Rwanda Sierra Leone Somalia Tajikistan Tanzania Togo Uganda Zimbabwe

Iran, Islamic Republic Iraqb Jamaica

a b c d

Economies systematically monitored for the World Economic Situation and Prospects report and included in the United Nations’ global economic forecast. Indicates the country has been shifted upward by one category from previous year’s classification. Indicates the country has been shifted downward by one category from previous year’s classification. Special Administrative Region of China.

Country classification


Table F Least developed countries (as of November 2013)
Africa East Asia South Asia Western Asia Latin America & the Caribbean

Angola Benin Burkina Faso Burundi Central African Republic Chad Comoros Democratic Republic of the Congo Djibouti Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gambia Guinea Guinea-Bissau Lesotho Liberia

Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mozambique Niger Rwanda Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Sierra Leone Somalia South Sudana Sudan Togo Uganda United Republic of Tanzania Zambia

Cambodiaa Kiribatia Lao People’s Democratic Republica Myanmar Samoaa, b Solomon Islandsa Timor Lestea Tuvalua Vanuatua

Afghanistana Bangladesh Bhutana Nepal



a Not included in the WESP discussion because of insufficient data. b Samoa will graduate from the list of the least developed countries in January 2014.

Table G Heavily indebted poor countries (as of September 2013)
Post-completion point HIPCsa Interim HIPCsb Pre-decision point HIPCsc

Afghanistan Benin Bolivia Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Central African Republic Congo Côte D’Ivoire Democratic Republic of the Congo Ethiopia Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti

Honduras Liberia Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mozambique Nicaragua Niger Rwanda Sao Tome and Principe Senegal Sierra Leone Togo Uganda United Republic of Tanzania Zambia

Chad Comoros

Eritrea Somalia Sudan

a Countries that have qualified for irrevocable debt relief under the HIPC Initiative. b Countries that have qualified for assistance under the HIPC Initiative (that is to say, have reached decision point), but have not yet reached completion point. c Countries that are potentially eligible and may wish to avail themselves of the HIPC Initiative or the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI).


World Economic Situation and Prospects 2014

Table H Small island developing States
United Nations members Non-UN Members/Associate Members of the Regional Commissions

Antigua and Barbuda Bahamas Bahrain Barbados Belize Cabo Verde Comoros Cuba Dominica Dominican Republic Federated States of Micronesia Fiji Grenada Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Jamaica Kiribati Maldives

Marshall Islands Mauritius Nauru Palau Papua New Guinea Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint. Lucia Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa São Tomé and Príncipe Seychelles Singapore Solomon Islands Suriname Timor-Leste Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tuvalu Vanuatu

American Samoa Anguilla Aruba Bermuda British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Cook Islands Curacao French Polynesia Guadeloupe Guam Martinique Montserrat New Caledonia Niue Puerto Rico Turks and Caicos Islands U.S. Virgin Islands

Table I Landlocked developing countries
Landlocked developing countries

Afghanistan Armenia Azerbaijan Bhutan Bolivia (Plurinational State of) Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Central African Republic Chad Ethiopia Kazakhstan Kyrgystan Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Lesotho Malawi American Samoa Anguilla Aruba Bermuda British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Cook Islands Curacao French Polynesia Mali Republic of Moldova

Mongolia Nepal Niger Paraguay Rwanda South Sudan Swaziland Tajikistan The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Turkmenistan Uganda Uzbekistan Zambia Zimbabwe

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