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North-South divide

The North-South divide is the socio-economic and political division which exists between the wealthy developed countries, known collectively as the "The North", and the poorer developing countries, or "The South". Although most nations comprising the "North" are in fact located in the Northern Hemisphere, the divide is not primarily defined by geography. The term was coined to differentiate the cultural divide between East and West.

As nations become economically developed, they may become part of the "North", regardless of geographical location, while any other nations which do not qualify for "developed" status are in effect deemed to be part of the "South".

The global digital divide is often characterized as corresponding to the North-South divide, however it is interesting to note that Internet use, and especially broadband access, is now soaring in Asia compared with other continents. This phenomenon is partially explained by the ability of many countries in Asia to bypass older Internet technology and infrastructure, coupled with booming economies which allow vastly more people to get on-line.

Commentators predict that within a few years the Internet will be dominated by users located in Asia. Yet most of Asia would currently be classed as part of the "South". So the North-South divide will be become less clear-cut. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North-South_divide [Dec 2005]

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