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7 December, 2017

List of Western countries

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. Since people are now visiting this page more frequently, I will present three definitions, which people can use depending on context:

The Latin West (cultural definition) – A broad definition of the West is all countries that were shaped historically by Western Christianity – today’s Catholic and Protestant churches. These countries use the Latin alphabet and have similar cultural and ethical values. They are not necessarily wealthy or politically aligned, however. This is my favorite definition, because I think it most accurately shows the divide between different worldviews.

The Cold War West (political definition) – These are the countries whose dominant culture is European that were aligned against the USSR during the Cold War. These countries had democratic, capitalist governments after World War II. They were not necessarily wealthy or even politically aligned, besides being against communism.

The Rich West (economic definition) – This is a narrower definition, but is commonly used nowadays. The Rich West consists of all European-settled countries whose GDP per capita is over US$10,000 (2016 World Bank estimate). This takes away many Central and South American countries that are not highly developed. On the other hand, this definition includes former communist countries like Poland and Latvia whose economies have improved greatly in the last generation.

Here are all the countries that fit any of these three definitions:

Country Cultural Political Economic
Andorra
Antigua and Barbuda
Argentina
Australia
Austria
Bahamas
Barbados
Belgium
Belize
Bolivia
Brazil
Canada
Chile
Colombia
Costa Rica
Croatia
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
El Salvador
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Grenada
Guatemala
Haiti
Honduras
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Italy
Jamaica
Latvia
Liechtenstein
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Mexico
Monaco
Netherlands
New Zealand
Nicaragua
Norway
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Poland
Portugal
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Lucia
St. Vincent
San Marino
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Suriname
Sweden
Switzerland
Trinidad and Tobago
United Kingdom
United States
Uruguay
Vatican City
Venezuela

I am aware of the following things:

  • Former communist states like the Baltics, Romania and Bulgaria are now NATO and EU members, and thus could be politically considered Western.
  • Romania and Moldova speak a Romance language and use Latin script. By a different cultural definition they could also be Western.
  • The culture of Israel mostly comes from Europe, where a majority of Jews lived for centuries. It is also highly developed, and could be considered Western by these criteria.

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31 Comments on "List of Western countries"

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Alex
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Romania and Bulgaria are also western countries

Blatt
Guest

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

Scott Perry
Guest
There is one divide, between the old Western and Eastern Roman Empires, that some would define as the divide between East and West, That was a very genuine divide. It was a divide between Greek and Roman, and a divide between Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic. Still both halves of that divide were largely descended from the old Roman Empire itself. Within the larger view of today’s wider world, I think it’s probably safe to say that the old “Eurpoean divide” is perhaps less of a divide, than the modern day divide between Occident and Orient. Is Eastern Europe a… Read more »
Cristher
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I know you were providing scholastic definitions of what constitutes Western Countries but these definitions are extremely problematic. “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.” These quote on quote share values of liberal democracy or human rights and equality only apply to the rights of whites. Liberal democracy for the few at the expense of many has always been the structure of western law. To provide these definitions without providing proper context and establishing that these definitions have… Read more »
Jesús Mejías
Guest

Latin America in general is part of the West.

Prab
Guest

The western world is not based on Geographical location but rather on culture and their infrastructure. It is also based on if they speak English.

Nicolas Laurindo
Guest

What English has to do with been western?
So France, Germany, Italy and others are not western? And poor nations like India would be? Wtf

unknown
Guest

Almost every country on earth has been influenced by Western culture and ideology. Using the political and economic definitions, countries like Japan, India and most of South East Asia (obviously not Communist countries like China, North Korea, Laos, Vietnam) should be considered Western. Along with countries like South Africa or Brazil (pretty much all of South America) should be considered Western in this definition as well. The definition is too broad, too vague and really includes every country that has some kind of democracy or republic and has a fairly good economy.

Bharath kumar
Guest

Afghanistan is also a western country

Prab
Guest

Afghanistan is corrupt. War and poverty show it is not western. Most western countries have a stable economy

Maria
Guest

LOL…………….

Phuq
Guest

Where is Israel?

Prab
Guest

Located in the middle east. Bodering Egypt, Jordon, Iraq and Syria.

Jason M
Guest

Apart from the western roman empire, the “west” is a very vague term. I guess the religious map makes more sense since the catholic church really was the only roman institution that kept something of the old empire alive.

Rocco
Guest

Venezuela isn’t included in the Rich West in the map, but it’s included in the table.
Don’t know if there are other similar mistakes, but I found this one!

Charles Earl
Guest

South Africa feels very Western: Stable democracy (they actually sort out corrupt politicians quickly), 12k/pp income according to world bank, English is the primary language of interchange. Maybe they just want to keep a low Wakana-ish profile.

Pratik
Guest

Cyprus ?
Other sites are showing Cyprus is a eastern country
Pls suggest me right answer

Constantine
Guest
So if Greece and Cyprus do not culturally belong to the West, just because some hundreds of years ago they were under the Ottoman rule, then Spain shouldn’t belong either. Lots of Arab and Semitic influences there too. Further if Eastern Orthodox Church is a cultural block of its own, then so should have been all the different Christian denominations. Being Western is not a matter of theolodgy or dogma. It’s about sharing the same values and beliefs, the ideas of Enlightment, of safeguarding human rights, etc. And Greece shares them all. She’s also a member in the EU (common… Read more »
Andrew
Guest
Firstly, how about a gradient map of ‘Western’ parameters instead? That would reflect the various ambiguities better. More controversially, how about the White West, perhaps even based on some autosomal DNA map (and hence historical intermarriage patterns that show real cultural exchange) or older race maps*? That seems to be the historical definition. E.g., from Lothrop Stoddard citing a French journalist on the Russo-Japanese war: “What a triumph,” he exclaims, “what a revenge for the little Nippon to see thus humiliated these big, splendid men who, for they, represented not only Russians, but those Europeans who they so detest! this… Read more »