Oh dear! This was supposed to go into "Off Topic Babbling!"
This is not intended to be a political thread, but I recognise that it could very easily become one, so I am stating flat out that it is not my intention to make a political point about the current state of the world but rather to try and see if the more detailed information available to us today can help in creating a conception of the world that is more accurate and current then the old "third world" paradigm, which has been outdated since the Second World collapsed in 1991.
Wikipedia has a number of very interesting maps to hand to help us look at the current state of the world.
GDP per capita. The old workhorse of country classification, this still tells us much about the world
UN education index
Female life expectancy (to counter effects like war, car accidents and alcoholism, which tend to bias towards men)
Failed States Index (a measure of governmental stability)
The corruptions perception index, which has many implications for infrastructure and functionality
The Gini coefficient of inequality, indicating how unequally distributed wealth in a country is.
I'm not particularly fond of the education map; I think it paints too broad a brush if it places Sweden's education system on par with Kazakhstan's, but generally a few patterns can be seen from the list. First off, the familiar hierarchy is depressingly still in place: the old first world is still first, with North America, Europe, Japan and Aus/NZ at the top, Africa at the bottom and Latin America and Asia in the middle. But a few surprises do creep in: first off, while equatorial Africa may still be bottom of the list in nearly all respects, southern Africa, particularly Botswana, appears to have established a position ahead of the pack in both stability and in wealth creation. Also, while Latin America may still be solidly middle-range, Chile and Argentina appear to be moving slowly into the old First World without anyone noticing. Also, within the old first world, a "top of the top" is evident in stability and infrastructure, with Ireland, Scandinavia, the Benelux, Australia, Canada and New Zealand coming out ahead of America, Western Europe and Japan. (not sure how Ireland would stack up today). Oman, despite being an absolute monarchy, appears to have impressed the think tanks, as it sticks out in many respects from the usually dreary Middle East. One thing I did not expect is that there appears to be little correlation between wealth equality and stability, with many of the most equal countries also being among the more corrupt.