US is becoming a 'developing country' on rankings of democracy/inequality

The United States may regard itself as a “[leader of the free world](,” but an index of development released in July 2022 places the country much farther down the list.

In its global rankings, the United Nations Office of Sustainable Development dropped the U.S. to 41st worldwide, down from its previous ranking of 32nd. Under this methodology – an expansive model of 17 categories, or “goals,” many of them focused on the environment and equity – the U.S. ranks between Cuba and Bulgaria. Both are widely regarded as developing countries.

The U.S. is also now considered a “flawed democracy,” according to The Economist’s democracy index.

Edited topic title to try to fit the important bits.

Canada’s also not doing all that great at #29, between Chile and Romania. We suffer in many ways by comparing ourselves to the US and figuring we’re doing well if we’re doing better than they are.

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I tend to think of “developed” in economic terms. The economies of developing countries tend to be those that are reliant more on raw resources. Developed countries have a mix of value added products and services with a well developed country moving more towards services. 8 of the top 10 companies by market cap are in the US, and the are dominated by high tech. A “developing country”? That doesn’t make sense.

  1. Apple
  2. Saudi Aramco
  3. Microsoft
  4. Alphabet
  5. Amazon
  6. Tesla
  7. Berkshire Hathaway
  9. TSMC
  10. Meta

Norway, Australia, and Canada all have significant resource components. I tend to view developed countries in terms of complex economies with significant tech, hospitality, service, finance, agriculture, infrastructure, education, health, manufacturing, and resource contributors. Developing economies are often characterized by over dominance of one sector such as primary extraction, tourism, or agriculture. Narrow economies also lend readily to corrupt and inefficient control.


I’m not sure if this is relevant to the current discussion, but I think it might be:

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