Ukraine is a world-class paradox. The country is beautiful, rich in culture and history, and generally hospitable. However, it’s also struggling to find its place in the modern world. Ask local residents if Ukraine is the first world and you will likely get different answers based on who you ask and their experiences. With the recent political turmoil and subsequent war with Russia, there has been much discussion about how “developed” Ukraine really is. Is it a third-world country that needs humanitarian aid? Or a developing nation that is working its way up from second-world status? The answer lies somewhere between yes and no. Technically speaking, no country can be considered the first world unless it fits certain criteria. There are many indicators to consider when classifying countries as the first or second world.
Is Ukraine First World?
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the east, northeast, and south, Belarus to the northwest, Poland and Slovakia to the west, and Hungary and Romania to the southwest. It has an area of, making it the second-largest country in Europe after the Russian Federation.
What Does It Mean To Be First World?
- Simply put, a first-world country is one that has world-class infrastructure, healthcare, and living conditions. The majority of these countries are located in the western hemisphere, with the exception of Japan.
- First-world countries often have high literacy rates, low infant mortality rates, low crime rates, and high life expectancy rates, and many have universal healthcare. First-world countries tend to have a high Human Development Index (HDI) and are considered developed nations.
- The majority of first-world countries are considered high-income countries, though there are a few middle-income countries on the list. First world countries tend to have higher GDPs (gross domestic products) than other countries, with many being in the top 10 list. The top 10 first-world countries also boast some of the highest standards of living in the world.
Why Is Ukraine Considered Second World?
This is one of the main reasons why Ukraine is considered the second world. It has a very poor infrastructure with most of the roads in bad shape and public transport infrastructure very poor. There are very few high-speed trains in Ukraine with the average speed of trains being only 80 km per hour. Moreover, the trains are very old with the average age of trains being 25 years. This can be attributed to the fact that the government doesn’t spend much money on railways. The healthcare system in Ukraine is also very poor with no proper arrangement for low-income families to receive proper medical treatment. The government spends only 2.5% of its GDP on healthcare, which is very low compared to other developed countries. For example, the US government spends 17.9% of its GDP on healthcare.
Poor living standards
Ukrainians live very simple lives with very low living standards. In fact, only a small percentage of Ukrainians can be called middle class. Most people live below the poverty line and struggle hard to make ends meet. Most people do not own houses and are not even thinking about buying them in the near future because of their low incomes. The cost of building a house in Ukraine is very low because the government doesn’t impose high taxes on construction materials like cement, bricks, and steel. In developed countries, people generally own houses and a good percentage of them are middle class. Most of the first world countries have high-income taxes because the government spends a lot of money on providing free health and education facilities for its citizens.
Lack of advanced technologies
The main reason why Ukraine is considered the second world is the lack of advanced technologies in the country. There is a very low percentage of people using the internet in Ukraine. Only 28% of people use the internet while in developed countries like the US, the number is more than 90%. This is because the government has not been investing enough money in setting up internet infrastructure. There are very few people in Ukraine who own smartphones compared to first-world countries. This is because the government has not been investing enough money in higher education and research and development activities.
Corruption and bad governance
Ukraine has been suffering from rampant corruption for many years. This is because the government is inefficient and does not take any action against corrupt officials. It is estimated that about $4 billion is siphoned off from the government’s coffers in a year. This can be attributed to the fact that the government doesn’t give proper attention to the management of public funds. The government does not invest enough money in social security programs for the citizens. The pensions and health benefits are very low and don’t meet the basic needs of the people. This is because the government is not managed by qualified people. The government is full of corrupt officials, who divert public funds to their private accounts.
What Does It Mean To Be Second World?
- There are many similarities between first and second-world countries. However, there are also a few key differences. First-world countries have already made the transition to market economies, as well as have higher standards of living, and a lower infant mortality rate. Conversely, second world countries are actively making the shift to market economies, but have not yet reached the same level of growth and prosperity as first world countries.
- Another big difference is that the infant mortality rate in second-world countries is much higher than those in first-world countries. Second-world countries are generally improving their standards of living, but are still behind first-world countries in many ways.
- There are dozens of second-world countries, but the list is constantly changing. This is because countries are either making the transition to first-world status or falling to third-world status.
Pros Of Being A Second-World Country
- There are many potential pros to being a second-world country. First, you have the potential to emerge as a first-world country, which can have a huge impact on the economy and general quality of life. In addition, second-world countries are actively working on improving their infrastructures, which can create many jobs and better living conditions.
- One of the most important pros of being a second-world country is that you have the ability to learn from the mistakes of first-world countries.
- You can study their successes and avoid their mistakes. This creates an opportunity for growth and progress that does not exist in third-world countries.
- Second-world countries still have plenty of natural resources to be mined, allowing them to profit and create jobs in the process. And, due to the lack of first world infrastructure, many second world countries have a lower cost of living than developed countries.
Cons Of Being A Second-World Country
- There are many potential cons to being a second-world country. Many second world countries are undergoing periods of civil unrest and political turmoil, which can be dangerous and distracting. Furthermore, transitioning from a command economy to a market economy can take time, and there is no guarantee that the process will be successful.
- Third-world countries tend to have much higher infant mortality rates, lower life expectancy rates, and lower literacy rates than first-world countries. These statistics are important indicators of the general health of a country and its people.
- In addition, third world countries are often exploited for their natural resources, creating an environment that is harmful for citizens and the environment.
There is a lot of confusion about what it means to be developed and what it means to be developing. Developed countries are often referred to as first-world countries while developing countries are referred to as second-world countries. First-world countries are fully developed, with high standards of living and low infant mortality rates. Second-world countries are actively trying to reach that status, but have not yet done so. Third-world countries are often referred to as developing countries. Third-world countries have not yet reached developed status and have lower standards of living.