Why do people call developed countries “the western hemisphere” when geographically that’s completel incorrect?



A lot of developed countries are close to the west pole of the earth. This is found in my back garden where it holds up my washing line. If you want to learn more about this center of civilisation, you are welcome to drop by for tea and scones


"The Western Hemisphere" is not a political term, but a geographical one. It's synonymous with "The New World." Hardly anyone could argue that Haiti is a "developed country", yet it's located in the Western Hemisphere. And I think that anyone would agree that Japan and South Korea are "developed" countries, yet they are not located in the Western Hemisphere. "The West" is a term used to refer to Western Europe and the societies that are based on Western European culture, notably The United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, out of which only half are located in The New World. Occasionally the definition becomes more debatable as some might consider countries such as South Africa and Israel to be "Western" in culture, at least politically.


they don't

John P

The general social and historical and political concepts which link countries in the western hemisphere (taken as Europe, and parts of the Americas) are also those concepts which link other countries such as Australia and New Zealand when they are noted as being part of the "western hemisphere". That is about the best way to think of it. Indeed, in modern times, the notion of "western nations" or "advanced nations" is much more nebulous than it was maybe 60 or 90 years ago.


They do not. The term is not used in a strict geographical sense. The term used is either just the 'West' or the 'Western World'. It could be, and this is just an educated guess, is the largest single grouping of developed countries are in Western Europe. Add in Canada and the USA, they are in the Western Hemisphere so are still in the West. Calling developed countries the 'West' is a less cumbersome than perhaps saying Western countries plus Australia and New Zealand.

frank lynn

Developed countries are referred to as the Western World, not hemisphere.


They don't. They say "the west". This is not a geographical term as such, it is a cultural / social term with its etymology originally based in Europe and essentially grouping countries as white Christian or not. Since then the meaning of Western culture has drifted to include things like democracy, mass education, capitalism etc. Don't expect "the west" to make sense literally any more that you would expect a pair of pants to still be two items you wear, one on each leg.

Adullah M

East and West can not be called hemisphere in geographical sense, since Northern and Solutrean Hemisphere are its true meaning. But in political wise they prefer to use it.


Because Germany is more highly developed than is Afghanistan and is also farther west.


The same reason people post such questions in the history forum instead of the geography forum where they belong. It's called ignorance. (Fail. question moved)