Having evaded definition since the term was coined in the 1980s, there is now a loose consensus that emerging markets are in many ways a diverse group of countries with enough political, cultural, and institutional attributes in common to let us speak of them in the same breath.
In recent decades Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and about fifteen (mainly smaller) countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas have:
Achieved relatively strong and sustained economic growth and expect (and are generally expected) to perform well in the future.
Made significant progress in reducing poverty, fertility, infant mortality, communicable diseases and illiteracy.
Developed politically differentiated but relatively stable polities with relatively effective governance, judicial, financial, transport, education and healthcare systems that, among other things, encourage direct and indirect domestic and foreign investment.
Developed sufficiently large populations, economies and markets and sufficient external influence to become significant or dominant players in regional and/or global geopolitics.
Been challenged by problems and opportunities associated with the speed and scale of demographic, economic, social, cultural, technological and urban changes that have been both the causes and consequences of economic success.