I cannot see any difference between industrialised countries and industrial countries. Can you?

  1. You can easily make your living there because it is an industrial country.
  2. You can easily make your living there because it is an industrialised country.

2 Answers 2


This is just one of those contexts where usage has changed over time...

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I think we can dismiss the possibility that there's any semantic difference between the two forms - nothing in the real world has changed so much since WW2 that we now need different words to refer to different types / levels of industrialisation (though there's certainly still some ongoing debate regarding the terms developed / developing nations).


Personally I would take those terms as having quite different connotations. (The fact that FumbleFingers considers there to be no such distinction indicates you should stress the personally in that sentence).

"Industrial country" to me suggests a country whose economy (and perhaps landscape) is dominated by industrial activity.

"Industrialised country" on the other hand suggests a country which has gone through the process of industrialisation, but may very well currently have a post-industrial economy.

For example, I would describe my own country (the UK) as industrialised, but not as industrial, because we currently have a pretty small amount of manufacturing (etc) compared to a service/knowledge based economy.

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