Sweden lost its Web-savviest crown to Denmark, as the annual “e-readiness ranking” of 64 countries relegated the former leader to third place. Awarded the second place title in 2003, Denmark climbed up a notch when measured by the nearly 100 quantitative and qualitative criteria that IBM and the intelligence unit of The Economist established for the survey.
The report identified an apparent e-readiness trend in Scandinavia, as the region claimed four of the top five spots. The business, residential and government environments in the region have proved to be more adept at using the Internet than other earlier adopters, such as the U.S., Australia, and Canada. Scandinavians have successfully used the Internet to enhance business transactions, and incorporated the medium into their daily routines, while the government has driven development.
|e-readiness rankings, 2004|
score (of 10)*
|* The tendency of 2004 scores to be lower than 2003 scores
is mainly due to a change in our methodology to include
broadband penetration, which is still very low in most
|Source: Economist Intelligence Unit|
According to the Computer Industry Almanac Inc., Denmark is among the leading countries in computer and Internet penetration, with expectations that the Internet user population will grow from 3.72 million in 2004 to 4.28 million in 2007. The Computer Industry Almanac Inc. estimates that, as of 2004, there are 682 surfers per 1,000 Denmark residents, compared to 649 in Australia; 641 in Canada; 611 in Japan; 570 in the UK; and 628 in the U.S.
Other noticeable trends on the e-readiness rankings:
- Singapore made the greatest jump up the list, going from #12 in 2003 to #7 in 2004. The study attributes the country’s broadband rollout and strong government-industry cooperation for the rise.
- The UK, the U.S., and the Netherlands, locked in a three-way tie in 2003, all landed unique positions in 2004, with the UK faring the best. The UK climbed from third to second, while the U.S. dropped from third to sixth, and the Netherlands went from third to eighth.
- Hong Kong and Canada tied for #10 in 2003, with Hong Kong climbing one notch in 2004, and Canada dropping one notch.
- Four countries were added to the rankings since 2003: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia. Despite the additions, the bottom-ranked countries in 2003 – Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan – still ranked in the last place positions in 2004.
IBM and the intelligence unit of The Economist defined e-readiness by measurement in six distinct categories: connectivity and technology infrastructure; business environment; consumer and business adoption; social and cultural environment; legal and policy environment; and supporting e-services.
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