A country is a political state, nation, or territory which is controlled. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence, or citizenship.
A country may be an independent sovereign state or part of a larger state,as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, a physical territory with a government, or a geographic region associated with sets of previously independent or differently associated people with distinct political characteristics. It is not inherently sovereign.
Countries can refer both to sovereign states and to other political entities, such as Vatican City,while other times it can refer only to states. For example, the CIA World Factbook uses the word in its "Country name" field to refer to "a wide variety of dependencies, areas of special sovereignty, uninhabited islands, and other entities in addition to the traditional countries or independent states".
The largest country in the world is Russia, while the most populous is China, followed by India, the United States of America, Indonesia and Pakistan.The newest country with widespread international recognition as a sovereign state is South Sudan, followed by Timor-Leste.
The word country comes from Old French contrée, which derives from Vulgar Latin (terra) contrata ("(land) lying opposite"; "(land) spread before"), derived from contra ("against, opposite"). It most likely entered the English language after the Franco-Norman invasion during the 11th century.
In English the word has increasingly become associated with political divisions, so that one sense, associated with the indefinite article – "a country" – through misuse and subsequent conflation is now a synonym for state, or a former sovereign state, in the sense of sovereign territory or "district, native land".Areas much smaller than a political state may be called by names such as the West Country in England, the Black Country (a heavily industrialized part of England), "Constable Country" (a part of East Anglia painted by John Constable), the "big country" (used in various contexts of the American West), "coal country" (used of parts of the US and elsewhere) and many other terms.
The equivalent terms in French and other Romance languages ( pays and variants) have not carried the process of being identified with political sovereign states as far as the English "country", instead derived from, pagus, which designated the territory controlled by a medieval count, a title originally granted by the Catholic Church. In many European countries the words are used for sub-divisions of the national territory, as in the German Bundesländer, as well as a less formal term for a sovereign state. France has very many "pays" that are officially recognized at some level, and are either natural regions, like the Pays de Bray, or reflect old political or economic entities, like the Pays de la Loire.
A version of "country" can be found in the modern French language as contrée, based on the word cuntrée in Old French,that is used similarly to the word "pays" to define non-state regions, but can also be used to describe a political state in some particular cases. The modern Italian contrada is a word with its meaning varying locally, but usually meaning a ward or similar small division of a town, or a village or hamlet in the countryside.
Most countries have two names, a protocol name and a geographical name or short name.
The protocol name (full name, formal name, official name) e.g. Republic of India, the Slovak Republic, the Czech Republic, the Swiss Confederation, the State of Qatar, the Principality of Monaco, the Kingdom of Norway, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, the Argentine Republic, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, the United Mexican States, the Commonwealth of Australia, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The long form (official title) is used when the state is targeted as a legal entity: e.g. This Decision is addressed to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland., The French Republic is authorised to …, Agreement between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Russian Federation …. If the recurrence of the name of a state in the text leads to a preference for using the short form, it can be introduced with the phrase ‘hereinafter referred to as …’.
The geographical name (short name) e.g. India, Slovakia, Czechia, Switzerland, Qatar, Monaco, Norway, Luxembourg, Ethiopia, Algeria, Argentina, the United Kingdom, the United States, Mexico, Australia, Vietnam, the Soviet Union. The short form (short name) is used when the state is referred to geographically or economically: e.g. Workers residing in France., Exports from Greece ….
For certain states, the long form and the short form are identical: e.g. the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Dominican Republic, the United Arab Emirates, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Georgia, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Montenegro, New Zealand, Romania, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine.
The term "country" can refer to a sovereign state. There is no universal agreement on the number of "countries" in the world since a number of states have disputed sovereignty status. By one application of the declarative theory of statehood and constitutive theory of statehood, there are 206 sovereign states; of which 193 are members of the United Nations, two have observer status at the UN (the Holy See and Palestine), and 11 others are neither a member nor observer at the UN. The latest proclaimed state is South Sudan since 2011.
The degree of autonomy of non-sovereign countries varies widely. Some are possessions of sovereign states, as several states have overseas territories (such as French Polynesia or the British Virgin Islands), with citizenry at times identical and at times distinct from their own. Such territories, with the exception of distinct dependent territories, are usually listed together with sovereign states on lists of countries, but may nonetheless be treated as a separate "country of origin" in international trade, as Hong Kong is.
A few states consist of a union of smaller polities which are considered countries:
Several organizations seek to identify trends in order to produce country classifications. Countries are often distinguished as developing countries or developed countries.
The United Nations
The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs annually produces the World Economic Situation and Prospects report that classified states as developed countries, economies in transition, or developing countries. The report classifies country development based on per capita gross national income. Within the broad categories, the United Nations identified subgroups based on geographical location or ad hoc criteria. The UN outlines the geographical regions for developing economies as Africa, East Asia, South Asia, Western Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. The 2019 report recognizes only developed countries in North America, Europe, and Asia and the Pacific. The majority of economies in transition and developing countries are found in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.
The UN additionally recognizes multiple trends that impact the developmental status of countries in the World Economic Situation and Prospects. The report highlights fuel-exporting and fuel-importing countries, as well as small island developing states and landlocked developing countries. It also identifies heavily indebted poor countries.
The World Bank
The World Bank also classifies countries based on GNI per capita. Using the World Bank Atlas method, it classifies countries as low-income economies, lower-middle-income economies, upper-middle-income economies, or high-income economies. For the 2020 fiscal year, the World Bank defines low-income economies as countries with a GNI per capita of $1,025 or less in 2018; lower middle-income economies as countries with a GNI per capita between $1,026 and $3,995; upper middle-income economies as countries with a GNI per capita between $3,996 and $12,375; high-income economies as countries with a GNI per capita of $12,376 or more.
It also identifies regional trends. The World Bank defines its regions as East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, North America, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Lastly, the World Bank distinguishes countries based on the operational policies of the World Bank. The three categories include International Development Association (IDA) countries, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) countries, and Blend countries.
A developed country, industrialized country, more developed country (MDC), or more economically developed country (MEDC), is a sovereign state that has a developed economy and advanced technological infrastructure relative to other less industrialized nations. Most commonly, the criteria for evaluating the degree of economic development are gross domestic product (GDP), gross national product (GNP), the per capita income, level of industrialization, amount of widespread infrastructure and general standard of living. Which criteria are to be used and which countries can be classified as being developed are subjects of debate.
A developing country is a country with a less developed industrial base (industries) and a low Human Development Index (HDI) relative to other countries. However, this definition is not universally agreed upon. There is also no clear agreement on which countries fit this category. A nation's GDP per capita, compared with other nations, can also be a reference point. In general, the United Nations accepts any country's claim of itself being "developing".
The category of newly industrialized country (NIC), newly industrialized economy (NIE) or middle income country is a socioeconomic classification applied to several countries around the world by political scientists and economists. They represent a subset of developing countries whose economic growth is much higher than other developing countries; and where the social consequences of industrialization, such as urbanization, are reorganizing society.
The Human Development Index (HDI) is a statistic composite index of life expectancy, education, and per capita income indicators, which are used to rank countries into four tiers of human development. A country scores a higher HDI when the lifespan is higher, the education level is higher, and the gross national income GNI (PPP) per capita is higher. It was developed by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and was further used to measure a country's development by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)'s Human Development Report Office.
The economy of Europe comprises more than 744 million people in 50 countries. Formation of the European Union (EU) and in 1999, the introduction of a unified currency – the euro brings participating European countries closer through the convenience of a shared currency and has led to a stronger European cash flow. The difference in wealth across Europe can be seen roughly in former Cold War divide, with some countries breaching the divide. Whilst most European states have a GDP per capita higher than the world's average and are very highly developed, some European economies, despite their position over the world's average in the Human Development Index, are poorer. Europe in banking had total asset more than $50 trillion and its global management had asset more than $ 20 trillion. Which is higher percapita bank asset than in China and all of its in Euro while in China only 10 percent in US Dollar equal with its foreign reserves.
The gross national income (GNI), previously known as gross national product (GNP), is the total domestic and foreign output claimed by residents of a country, consisting of gross domestic product (GDP), plus factor incomes earned by foreign residents, minus income earned in the domestic economy by nonresidents. Comparing GNI to GDP shows the degree to which a nation's GDP represents domestic or international activity. GNI has gradually replaced GNP in international statistics. While being conceptually identical, it is calculated differently. GNI is the basis of calculation of the largest part of contributions to the budget of the European Union. In February 2017, Ireland's GDP became so distorted from the base erosion and profit shifting ("BEPS") tax planning tools of U.S. multinationals, that the Central Bank of Ireland replaced Irish GDP with a new metric, Irish Modified GNI*. In 2017, Irish GDP was 162% of Irish Modified GNI*.
An emerging market is a market that has some characteristics of a developed market, but does not fully meet its standards. This includes markets that may become developed markets in the future or were in the past. The term "frontier market" is used for developing countries with smaller, riskier, or more illiquid capital markets than "emerging". As of 2006, the economies of China and India are considered to be the largest emerging markets. According to The Economist, many people find the term outdated, but no new term has gained traction. Emerging market hedge fund capital reached a record new level in the first quarter of 2011 of $121 billion. The nine largest emerging and developing economies by either nominal or PPP-adjusted GDP are the BRICS countries along with Indonesia, South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
The following table lists the independent European states, and their memberships in selected organisations and treaties.
The economy of the Middle East is very diverse, with national economies ranging from hydrocarbon-exporting rentiers to centralized socialist economies and free-market economies. The region is best known for oil production and export, which significantly impacts the entire region through the wealth it generates and through labor utilization. In recent years, many of the countries in the region have undertaken efforts to diversify their economies.
The economy of Montenegro is currently in a process of transition, as it navigates the impacts of the Yugoslav Wars, the decline of industry following the dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations.
A high-income economy is defined by the World Bank as a country with a gross national income per capita of US$12,536 or more in 2019, calculated using the Atlas method. While the term "high-income" is often used interchangeably with "First World" and "developed country", the technical definitions of these terms differ. The term "first world" commonly refers to countries that aligned themselves with the U.S. and NATO during the Cold War. Several institutions, such as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or International Monetary Fund (IMF), take factors other than high per capita income into account when classifying countries as "developed" or "advanced economies". According to the United Nations, for example, some high-income countries may also be developing countries. The GCC countries, for example, are classified as developing high-income countries. Thus, a high-income country may be classified as either developed or developing. Although the Vatican City is a sovereign state, it is not classified by the World Bank under this definition.
The Republic of Kiribati's per capita Gross National Product of US$1,420 (2010) makes it the poorest country in Oceania. Phosphates had been profitably exported from Banaba Island since the turn of the 20th century, but the deposits were exhausted in 1979. The economy now depends on foreign assistance and revenue from fishing licenses to finance its imports and development budget.