21 December, 2015

What is the list of “Western countries” in the world?

There is no single definition of what the West is, so the list of countries changes depending on context. The different contexts are outlined in this Wikipedia article.

To sum it up (quotes from WP):

Cultural definition – From a cultural and sociological approach the Western world is defined as including all cultures that are directly derived from and influenced by European cultures. This is probably the broadest definition.

Political definition – Countries of the Western world are generally considered to share certain fundamental political ideologies, including those of liberal democracy, the rule of law, human rights, equality.

Economic definition – The term “Western world” is sometimes interchangeably used with the term First World or developed countries, in context with the cultural definition.

Taking: (1) European culture; (2) very high human development; and  (3) liberal democratic principles, we get these countries:

Here are these countries listed in alphabetical order:

  1. Andorra
  2. Argentina
  3. Australia
  4. Austria
  5. Belgium
  6. Canada
  7. Chile
  8. Croatia
  9. Czech Republic
  10. Denmark
  11. Estonia
  12. Finland
  13. France
  14. Germany
  15. Greece
  16. Hungary
  17. Iceland
  18. Ireland
  19. Israel
  20. Italy
  21. Latvia
  22. Liechtenstein
  23. Lithuania
  24. Luxembourg
  25. Malta
  26. Monaco
  27. Netherlands
  28. New Zealand
  29. Norway
  30. Poland
  31. Portugal
  32. San Marino
  33. Slovakia
  34. Slovenia
  35. Spain
  36. Sweden
  37. Switzerland
  38. United Kingdom
  39. United States
  40. Vatican City

It is debatable whether Israel has “European culture”, though the centuries of European influence are undisputed. Many would also assert that Israel does not truly embody liberal democratic principles. Therefore the status of Israel on this list is debatable.

Poland and the Baltic States are European in culture, but distinct from Western Europe, albeit not as much as Russia or other East Slavic countries.

3 Comments on “What is the list of “Western countries” in the world?

17 July, 2017 at 8:08 am

Romania and Bulgaria are also western countries

17 July, 2017 at 10:10 am

Bulgaria is not considered a highly developed country by the United Nations as of 2016 (most recent development data).

A case could be made for Romania, but I don’t think incomes are high enough for it to qualify. There is still a massive gap in income and purchasing power.

7 August, 2017 at 4:18 am

This looks more like “the first world”. I would consider the whole south-America to be “West”. Regardless the economic income, they are undoubtedly European-based culture. One can see them as “poor West” countries.
btw, it’d be grate if you include a Twitter sharing button


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