Four Asian Tigers facts for kids

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Four Asian Tigers
Four Asian Tigers.svg
A map showing the Four Asian Tigers
 Hong Kong  Singapore

 South Korea  Taiwan

Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 亞洲四小龍
Simplified Chinese 亚洲四小龙
Literal meaning Asia's Four Little Dragons
Korean name
Hangul 아시아의 네 마리 용
Literal meaning Asia's four dragons

The Four Asian Tigers or Asian Dragons are the highly developed economies of Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. These regions were the first newly industrialized countries. They are known because they had very high growth rates (they became rich very fast) and fast industrialization between the early 1960s and 1990s. Now people say that all four economies are rich economies.

All four Asian Tigers have a highly educated and productive work force compared to others in the region.

The economic success stories of Korea and Taiwan became known as the Miracle on the Han River and the Taiwan Miracle. This helped many developing countries think maybe they could become rich too, especially the Tiger Cub economies.

The four tigers grew richer very quickly. Some of this was because these countries let companies compete more, and some of this was because they started to sell more to other countries. The United States helped during the Cold War, because they didn't want these countries to become communist countries.

All the Asian Tigers tried to export (sell) things to rich industrialized nations. They grew rich very quickly (they had double-digit economic growth) for decades. Each nation was not a democracy, and people were not very free in the early years. All of these countries later became freer, and people now think Taiwan and Korea are liberal democracies

In 1997, people started to invest (spend) money on things they shouldn't, and that hurt the economies of those countries. But now these countries are getting richer again.

Things you can read

  • Ezra F. Vogel, The Four Little Dragons: The Spread of Industrialization in East Asia (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991).

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