S&P DJI employs a modern approach to classifying equity markets around the world as developed, emerging or frontier. Our model is based on a robust set of criteria and conditions that identify markets with the same characteristics and thus enable global comparisons.

Global investor feedback are an invaluable part of our approach for the context they provide. S&P DJI seeks market participant opinions regularly to augment quantitative and qualitative indicators. Used together, these inputs help to ensure that our classifications reliably describe the countries represented so investors using our indices can be confident that they have captured the intended opportunity set.

How We Classify Markets

S&P DJI employs a comprehensive approach to classify equity markets around the world, adopting quantitative criteria complemented by qualitative indicators as well as global investor views.

A series of criteria, covering a range of factors including macroeconomic requisites and political stability, size and liquidity conditions, market accessibility and related investment processes provide the foundation for in-depth research.
Collecting feedback from, and engaging with, a broad group of global market participants is critical to the process as investors can offer direct knowledge of market conditions and characteristics.
A final proposal, based on an overall analysis and evaluation of the information and inputs aggregated, is submitted to the S&P Dow Jones Indices Global Equity Policies Committee, which makes final decisions on market classifications.
The results of this process are generally announced in October, or as soon as the review cycle is completed in case of ad hoc assessments.
To keep the process fully transparent, S&P DJI publishes and maintains an annual watchlist for potential reclassification.

Developed - 25
Emerging - 23
Frontier - 32
Standalone - 9

S&P DJI continuously monitors and conducts accessibility assessments for all markets included in its indices in order to identify any potential issues impacting their replicability. Actions taken to mitigate any issues identified are always communicated in advance, even if they are taken outside the annual review cycle.

Country Classification

Countries must meet certain initial criteria to be considered for developed or emerging classifications. Markets that do not qualify but still meet minimum requirements will be eligible for frontier classification.

Market Classification Changes