Classifications

Country classification

General disclaimer

Unless otherwise the designations employed and the presentation of the material on UNCTADstat do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

Economies

In the UNCTADstat Data Center, the term "economy" refers to a country or any other type of a territorial unit. In each UNCTADstat table, UNCTAD tries to disseminate data for the target economies below:

  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatTarget economies

With a few exceptions, the target economies and their numerical codes are conform with the ISO 3166-1 standard and the Standard Country or Area Codes for Statistical Use (M49) of the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD). However, in the cases below, the target economies are broader than the territorial units defined in ISO 3166-1 and M49. Data for the economies which are subdivisions of target economies, listed below, are included in selected UNCTADstat tables.

  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatSubdivisions of target economies

Each economy is associated with a specific statistical territory. In the case of a significant change in the statistical territory of a country or territorial unit, for example due to a split or a unification, the new country or territorial unit is recorded as a new economy. These cases are presented in the table below, showing also the start and end dates of the validity of the affected economies:

  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatFormer countries

For the following territories, subsumed in the group "other territories", data are not presented individually in any UNCTADstat table. However, if available, they are included in the world total.

  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel format"Other territories"

The table below shows the full correspondence of the territories defined in ISO 3166-1 and M49 to the UNCTAD target economies:

  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatTranscode ISO3166-1/UNCTADstat

Groups of economies

In UNCTADstat, economies are grouped by development status as well as by geographic, economic and institutional criteria. Their compositions and the underlying rationales of the groupings are described below. Aggregates of groups of economies are compiled as the sums of the values recorded for the associated economies, unless otherwise specified. Although data have been collected or estimated at the level of individual economies as exhaustively as possible, some data gaps could not be avoided. This leads in some cases to a certain underestimation of the aggregates compiled on their basis. These cases are indicated in the table notes. In some cases, the aggregates include data estimated by the UNCTAD secretariat that are not separately reported.

Geographical groups

The formation of geographical groups follows the M49 standard of UNSD, according to which the world is divided up into five main regions, Africa (5100), America (5200), Asia (5300), Europe (5400) and Oceania (5500), and their subregions. An exception is represented by Cyprus, as it is considered to be part of Southern Europe in UNCTADstat and not of Western Asia as in M49. Apart from the values of the regions above, the world total also covers the figures of the "other territories" (1900) (see above).

  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatGeographical groups and composition

Furthermore, some geographical groups not defined in M49 are provided as memorandum items. These comprise mergers of individual M49 regions often used in reporting on Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (groups 3601¬-3604), as well as Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa without South Africa (codes 2116 and 2117):

  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatMemo items of geographical groups

Development status groups

UNCTAD classifies all target economies into developing (1200), developed (1100) and transition economies (1300). This classification has its origin in the coalitions formed during the preparation of the first United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in 1964. It primarily reflects historically formed common interests and identities of economies. It does not necessarily correspond with their ranking in macroeconomic or social indicators. Each category is further divided by geographical region.

The developing economies comprise the economies of Africa, of Latin America and the Caribbean, of Asia, except Israel and Japan, and of Oceania, except Australia and New Zealand. The developed economies comprise the economies of Northern America, the member states of the European Union and the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA), Andorra, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, the Holy See and San Marino, as well as Australia, Israel, Japan and New Zealand. The transition economies comprise the former Republics of the Soviet Union and the former socialist economies of Eastern Europe (including Yugoslavia), except member states of the European Union. The table below shows all individual economies included in each UNCTAD development status groups:

  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatUNCTAD development status groups and composition

The development status classification in the M49 Standard applies is slightly different from the UNCTAD classification. It distinguishes between developing (2205) and developed regions (2210) only, where the developed regions comprise Northern America and Europe as well as Australia, Israel, Japan and New Zealand, and all other regions are considered as developing. To facilitate comparison across datasets, these groups are also provided in UNCTADstat.

Other groups based on development status on UNCTADstat include small island developing States (SIDS), as defined by UNCTAD, as well as least developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS) based on the definition of the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS).

The compositions of the different groups based on development status, complementing the UNCTAD development status groups, are provided in the table below:

  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatMemo items of geographical groups

For more information about the emergence of the UNCTAD development status classification and a comparison with the development status classification schemes of other international organizations, see UNCTAD Research Paper, No. 46.

Economic groups

In UNCTADstat, economies are also grouped with reference to economic criteria to support various types of social and economic analyses.

The classification criteria applied in the formation of the individual groups are provided below:

  • Download in PDF formatComposition criterias of economic groups

The following table presents the composition of the economic groups:

  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatEconomic groups and composition

Institutional groups

The Institutional in UNCTADstat represent groups established on the basis of formal agreements or declarations, including associations of states, customs or monetary unions.

  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatInstitutional groups

Product classification

Standard international trade classification (SITC) Revision 3

The Standard International Trade Classification which is a statistical classification of the commodities entering external trade. The current international standard is the SITC, Revision 3.

"UNCTAD product groups" are provided for special analytical interest.

The definition of "Manufactured goods by degree of manufacturing" is taken from Trade and Development Report (TDR) 2002 Annexes to Chapter III. Furthermore, some additional works were undertaken to convert the original list in SITC Rev.2 into SITC Rev.3, to extend its coverage to all commodities and to ensure consistency with existing UNCTAD product groups.

  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatStandard International Trade Classification (SITC) Revision 3
  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatUNCTAD product groupings and composition (SITC Rev. 3)
  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatManufactured goods by degree of manufacturing (SITC Rev. 3)
  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatProduct by technological categories (SITC Rev. 3 based on Lall (2000))

Creative products

Given the complexity of making clear distinctions and defining the borderline between a creative good that is exclusive and mass production, between handmade and machine-made, between decorative and functional, etc., this exercise of compiling statistics for creative goods includes all the creative goods with the above characteristics since they fall under the criteria of the UNCTAD classification of "the cycle of creation, production and distribution of a tangible product with creative content, economic and cultural value and a market objective".

  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatCreative product groupings and composition (HS 1992)
  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatCreative product groupings and composition (HS 1996)
  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatCreative product groupings and composition (HS 2002)
  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatCreative product groupings and composition (HS 2007)
  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatCreative product groupings and composition (HS 2012)
  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatCreative economy product groupings

Information and communication technology (ICT) products

The list of ICT goods was defined by the OECD using the 2007 version of the Harmonised System (HS). This definition was revised in 2010 and then adapted to HS 2012 and HS 2017 by UNCTAD in collaboration with UNSD. The most recent list consists of 93 goods defined at the 6 digit level of HS 2017. The original definition of ICT goods categories was defined in the OECD’s Guide to measuring the Information Society 2011.

  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatICT goods categories and composition (HS 1992)
  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatICT goods categories and composition (HS 1996)
  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatICT goods categories and composition (HS 2002)
  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatICT goods categories and composition (HS 2007)
  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatICT goods categories and composition (HS 2012)
  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatICT goods categories and composition (HS 2017)
  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatICT goods categories and composition

Other classifications

Information and communication technology (ICT)

Core indicators on ICT use in business by industrial classification of economic activity are based on ISIC Rev.3.1 or ISIC Rev.4.

  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatInformation and communication technology - Economic activities (ISIC Rev. 3.1)
  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatInformation and communication technology - Economic activities (ISIC Rev. 4)

Commmodity products

Composition of commodity groups published in the free market commodity prices and price indices tables.

  • Download in PDF formatDownload in Excel formatCommodity produtcs, hierarchy

Classification revision history

UNCTADstat Classification is updated once a year.

  • Download in PDF formatClassification update - April 2020
  • Download in PDF formatClassification update - April 2019
  • Download in PDF formatClassification update - June 2018
  • Download in PDF formatClassification update - June 2017
  • Download in PDF formatClassification update - September 2016
  • Download in PDF formatClassification update - July 2015
  • Download in PDF formatClassification update - July 2014
  • Download in PDF formatClassification update - June 2013 (Revision)
  • Download in PDF formatClassification update - June 2013
  • Download in PDF formatClassification update - July 2012
  • Download in PDF formatClassification update - September 2011