Newly industrialized countries are members of a socioeconomic classification given to locations that have recently experienced an economic shift towards stability and industry. These countries typically sit at a juncture between Third and First World governments. They have shifted towards a stable government and industrialized economy, but haven’t made permanent changes. Such countries have a higher standard of living and per capita income than other developing nations, but still lower than that of First World countries. Due to this discrepancy, other nations often outsource certain industries or manufacturing jobs to these locations.
The term "newly industrialized countries" originally applied to four emerging Asian countries: Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, and Singapore. These four countries developed significantly faster than many other nearby nations, and in order to describe the distinction made by these governments, economists found they needed to develop a new term. This term was used to describe nations that were pulling ahead of their contemporaries in terms of economic and industrial development, but were still behind other industrialized nations.
There are many factors that need to come together to determine if a nation is a newly industrialized country. One of the most obvious is its level and pacing of industrialization. Countries achieving this status have outpaced their counterparts, but have also achieved a stable level of industrialization. This stability means that the country isn’t tearing itself apart financially, socially, or environmentally in order to achieve its industrialization.
Outside of their industrial achievements, such countries have certain political and social characteristics as well. They typically have stronger governments with less corruption then a Third World country. Non-violent transitions of power and elected officials are common. In addition, social rights for common people are more prevalent.
With this level of social and political stability, coupled with an increasingly industrial workforce, the lives of common people is better than in most Third World countries. The per capita income is higher, which causes a corresponding increase in standard of living. The social and political reforms common in newly industrialized countries create a greater sense of national pride and culture. Countries in this status often have a resurgence of non-religious cultural interest, something that many Third World countries lack.
All of these improvements often come with a price. Fully industrialized and First World countries often use newly industrialized countries as a cheap labor force. While increasing jobs in the host country and making cheaper goods in the guest country may seem positive at first, the benefits aren't always lasting. In these new countries, the infrastructure and laws are often behind. Environmental protection, labor, and commerce laws are sometimes unable to handle the massive influx of new work, and the countries often suffer for it.