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Least developed countries

The catagory of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is a social/economic classification status applied to several countries around the world by political scientists and economists. The L is sometimes taken to mean Lesser rather than Least.

The term is often used interchangably with the catagory of third world nations, although many contemporary scholars prefer to use the "LDC" classification, arguing that "third world" is an outdated and irrelevant term.

As the name suggests, LDCs are generally poor, underdeveloped countries often marred by widespread conflict and politicial instability. Such countries are usually run by incompetent yet brutal dictatorships, and have very little democracy or freedom.

They are commonly marred by ethnic clashes, often as a result of a lasting legacy of colonialism or Communist rule.

Current LDCs include Afghanistan, Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, and Vietnam.

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