Africa, Asia, and Latin America are considered the most underdeveloped continents in the world. Most of the countries within are often the poorest, in debt or rely on international aids to meet basic needs. They are distinguished as low-income per capita, low rates of literacy, and high rates of population. All of these result in more pressure to produce sufficient revenue to help the starving people. Because of their underdevelopments, they greatly rely on nations such as the United States for support by providing cheap manufactured goods, such as copper, oil, and other natural resources.
For many people, these continents are known as “third world,” “developing nations,” or the “global south” because of their economical status compared to other nations. The United States, for example, is one of the first world countries because of its riches and power over other nations. Second world countries include the former communist world of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.
Source: Marshall , Gillian . "Economic Terms and Assumptions." Glossary of Definitions. 2000. Globalise Resistance. 27 Jul 2006 <http://www.resist.org.uk/reports/background/econterms.html>.