Western world

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A depiction of the Western world based on the work of Samuel P. Huntington.

The Western world, also known as the West or Western civilisation, primarily refers to various nations and states in the regions of Australasia, Europe, and the Americas. The Western world likewise is called the Occident in contrast to the Eastern world known as the Orient. Western countries include countries in Western Europe and countries where a majority of the population descend from Western Europeans. An exception is Latin America which represents a distinct culture despite Spain and Portugal being Western nations.

By the Middle Ages, Europeans began to use West to describe Europe. Since the eighteenth century, following European exploration, the word was used to indicate the regions of the world with European settlements. In contemporary times, countries that are considered to constitute the West vary according to perspective rather than their geographical location. Countries like Australia and New Zealand, located in the Eastern Hemisphere are included in modern definitions of the Western world, as these regions and others like them have been significantly influenced by the British—derived from colonization, and immigration of Europeans—factors that grounded such countries to the West.

Starting from the late 1960s, certain Western nations have become notable for having highly active immigration programs. In doing so these nations are defying global trends and continue to have a growing population.

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