Industrialized country

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Industrial state ( english industrialized state , or industrial country , states the World ) is a State whose economic structure through technology and industry is dominated and the industrial production a high share of the total gross domestic product (GDP) or value of production in an economy has. The counterpart is the agricultural state .


The industrial state is an object of knowledge in economic geography . The term is often used to distinguish it from developing and emerging countries . The distinction between industrial and agricultural countries is based on the dominant economic sector ( industrial production or agricultural production ) or the share of those in employment in those sectors in relation to the total number of people in employment ( industrial society ). Typical industrial countries are the USA or Germany , typical agricultural countries are in Africa or Asia . Industrialized countries can be large states like France , but also miniature states like Singapore . In this consideration, however, it should not be overlooked that almost every industrial state contains areas in the form of a land state that themselves are in need of development. The USA or Russia, for example, have large regions that should be described as developing countries. However, this does not diminish its role as an industrialized state, because the overall view is decisive here.

The designation “industrial state” no longer does justice to its current meaning, because the states are no longer classified according to their degree of industrialization , but mainly on the basis of gross domestic product. Countries with a strong service sector are at the top of the ranking, but can in fact be industrialized countries. Therefore terms are used in publications such as " OECD countries, and will rest organized along market-developed countries," "States of the World" or "advanced countries" ( English advanced economies ). The term First World was coined at the time of the Cold War for the highly industrialized, market-economy countries, while the planned-economy countries - also industrialized countries - were referred to as the Second World . With the end of the East-West conflict, this division lost its importance. In contrast, the term Third World has remained in use.


Industrial countries can be divided into first degree industrial countries ( populous countries), second degree (poorly populated countries), coal and steel economies and agri-industrial countries. While mining dominates in coal and steel economies , agriculture and industry are represented in a similarly strong manner in agricultural and industrial countries. Strictly speaking, coal and steel economies are not industrialized countries because mining is not part of industry, but is part of primary production .

Statistically, it is considered an industrial state if the share of industrial production in GDP is higher than the share of agricultural production. It is irrelevant whether the highest share is to be found in the service sector, in which case we could more precisely speak of the “service state” ( service society ).


Until the founding period , there were only agricultural states worldwide. With industrialization , the change from an agricultural state to an industrial state began in individual states. England is the first industrial nation in the world, and the country owed its rise to coal and iron. From 1765 a change occurred there, which was heralded by falling grain exports, which were also due to the growth of industry and trade. England laid the foundations for a civil industrial state, the Arnold Toynbee in 1882 as Industrial Revolution ( English industrial revolution called).

After the end of the Congress of Vienna in June 1815, the process of early industrialization began in Germany . The main reasons included the establishment of the “Preußisch-Rheinische Dampfschifffahrtsgesellschaft” (forerunner of the Cologne-Düsseldorf German Rhine Shipping Company ) in October 1825, followed by the Rheinische Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft in June 1837 and the Cologne-Mindener Eisenbahn-Gesellschaft in October 1843 . Ship and railroad construction benefited from this . At the forefront of railway construction was the Borsig company , which produced its first locomotive in 1841 and its thousandth in 1858 and with 1,100 employees rose to become the third largest locomotive factory in the world. The industrial revolution began comparatively late in the USA , swiftly since 1850 and clearly recognizable from 1865 after the Civil War .

The German Revolution of 1848/1849 marked the transition from early industrialization to the second industrial revolution . Johann von Zimmermann founded Germany's first machine tool factory in Chemnitz in 1848 . However, the most important branch of industry in Germany in 1850 was still the textile industry with 45.5% of employees , the share of which was only 15.2% in 1859. In contrast, the metal industry grew from 10.8% (1850) to 33.4% (1859). The textile industry received a second boost from around 1860 through the mechanization of cotton weaving.

From 1870 onwards, high industrialization began in Germany , with the change to an industrial state finally taking place. Up until around 1880, England was an industrial state without competition and was way ahead of all other states. For the first time in 1895 there were in Germany in industry and handicraft with 38.5% of all employed persons more employed than in agriculture (35.0%) - from the point of view of economics, the change to an industrial state was complete. In a lecture in June 1897, the economist Karl Oldenberg foresaw the end of the German nation, if industrial development continues as it has in the last few decades. Definitions of the term industrial state were still dominated by agriculture; In 1898, Paul Voigt understood an industrial state to be a state "whose agricultural production is so disproportionate to the needs of the industrial population that the import of food and raw materials is no longer merely a supplement to domestic primary production ...". Paul Arndt joined him in 1899 , for whom the industrial state was regarded as a state "whose industrial production exceeds the needs of its population, while its agricultural production falls short of the needs of its population". Reich Chancellor Count Bernhard von Bülow stated in a speech to the Reichstag on December 2, 1901: "Germany is neither an industrial state nor a purely agricultural state, but both at the same time ...". With this he wanted to justify the introduction of agricultural tariffs.

This debate reached Austria around 1900 : Was the Danube monarchy an agricultural or an industrial state? Austria-Hungary imports more food than it exports, which is why the dual monarchy is an industrial state. In 1920, the industrial sector in Japan exceeded the agricultural sector for the first time in terms of GDP, and the country rose to become an industrial state. Since around 1969, Switzerland went through the transition from an industrial state to a service state. From 1970 the modern industrialized countries developed more and more into service societies.

In October 1974, the western public was amazed at the news that the GDR had taken tenth place in the wide list of industrialized countries; measured in terms of industrial production, eastern Germany lies roughly between Italy and Canada . As it turned out after the fall of the Wall in 1990, the unchecked propaganda adopted by the Western media lacked any basis.

From 1990, began United Nations Development Program ( English United Nations Development Program , UNDP) to design a differentiated evaluation concept in terms of developed and developing countries. Increasingly, social factors should also be taken into account. The arising therefrom Human Development Index (HDI) is in the published annually by the UNDP report on human development ( English Human Development Report published HDR).

economic aspects

The low proportion of agriculture and forestry in total value added is typical of an industrialized country . An industrialized state produces industrial products that can be divided into capital goods and consumer goods . The former also include intermediate goods , the latter are divided into durable and consumer goods . These industrial products are initially used to meet their own demand for goods within the state; if the degree of self-sufficiency is over 100%, they are exported or stored . The industry tends towards mass production , characteristic is its high level of automation , mechanization and mechanization as well as the application of industrial technologies . Industrial production is not subject to as strong fluctuations as weather and seasonal agricultural production. The added value is much higher in an industrialized country than in an agricultural country, because every link in a value chain generally achieves a high production value . For example, ore mining and iron production supply the steel from which steel production produces car bodies that are ultimately needed as intermediate goods in the automotive industry . In addition to the price and wage level , this is the reason why the per capita income in an industrialized country is comparatively higher than in an agricultural country.

The strength of an industrial nation's economic performance can be measured by its gross domestic product (GDP). In 2018, only industrialized countries and countries with the highest share of the service sector led the way in terms of GDP per capita (see list of countries by gross domestic product per capita ).

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Ute Arentzen / Eggert Winter (eds.), Gabler Wirtschafts-Lexikon , Volume 3, 1997, Sp. 1855
  2. Erich Obst / Martin Schmithüsen (eds.), Allgemeine Staatsgeographie , 1972, p. 343
  3. Erich Obst / Martin Schmithüsen (eds.), Allgemeine Staatsgeographie , 1972, p. 344 ff.
  4. Hubert Kiesewetter , Unique Europe , 1996, p. 173
  5. ^ Felix Salomon, William Pitt the Younger , Volume 1, 1906, p. 396 f.
  6. Hans-Dieter Gelfert, Little History of English Literature , 2005, p. 151
  7. Gabriele Oepen-Domschky, Cologne economic citizen in the German Empire , 2003, p. 150
  8. Peter Lösche (Ed.), Country Report USA , 2004, p. 81 f.
  9. Walther G. Hoffmann , The growth of the German economy since the middle of the 19th century , 1965, p. 68 f.
  10. Hans Pohl, Economy, Business, Credit System, Social Problems , Part 1, 2005, p. 250
  11. ^ Karl Oldenberg, Germany as an industrial state , special edition, 1897, pp. 6/14
  12. ^ Paul Voigt, Germany and the world market , in: Prussian year books, Volume 91, 1898, p. 240 f.
  13. ^ Paul Arndt, Economic Consequences of the Development of Germany into an Industrial State , 1899, p. 7
  14. Reinhard Spree, History of the German Economy in the 20th Century , 2001, p. 50
  15. Ernst Bruckmüller , History of Austrian Agriculture and Forestry in the 20th Century: Politics, Society, Economy , Volume 1, 2002, p. 82
  16. ^ Max Eli, Business Success in Japan , 2004, p. 14
  17. ^ Georg Westermann Verlag (Ed.), Geographische Rundschau , 1979, p. 399
  18. Achim Pollert / Bernd Kirchner / Javier Morato Polzin / Marc Constantin Pollert, Duden Wirtschaft von A bis Z , 2016, o. P.
  19. DER SPIEGEL 41/1974 of October 7, 1974, after 25 years: "The largest GDR in the world" , p. 41
  20. United Nations Development Program (UNDP): Human Development Report 2015 . Ed .: German Society for the United Nations eV Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, Berlin ( [PDF; 9.3 MB ; accessed on November 1, 2016]).
  21. Rudolf Richter, National Economic Total Accounts , 1966, p. 39
  22. Nina Rösch, The Financial Crisis and Its Impact on German SMEs , 2009, p. 20