The power of 4.5 million active Internet users propelled Sweden to the top of the list of “Web-savviest nations,” overtaking the titleholder for three consecutive years – the United States.
According to the survey of 60 countries conducted by IBM and the intelligence unit of The Economist, Sweden scored a 8.67 out of a possible 10 points – up from 8.32 – in the annual “E-Readiness Rankings,” while the U.S. dropped to number three with 8.43 points – on par with the Netherlands and Britain. Denmark squeezed in between the Swedes and the Americans at number two.
“E-readiness” criteria spans a wide range, from telephone penetration to online security to intellectual property protection, translating into whether a country’s business environment is conducive to Internet-based commercial opportunities. Covering the world’s largest markets, the rankings aim to provide a useful guide for companies seeking to invest in technology-savvy countries, as well as governments looking to reap the benefits of the digital age.
The survey found small differences among the top 14 countries, all scoring more than eight points as a result of plentiful cheap Internet connections, software and technical support, legal and government frameworks and populations.
“Northwest Europe, North America and Australia are at virtually similar levels,” said Peter Korsten, European executive director at IBM’s Institute for Business Value.
Absent from the top 15 were France an Italy, which were clearly second league in “connectivity” and “consumer and business adoption”. “They’re laggards and that’s a bit scary,” Korsten said.
South Korea jumped from 21nd to 16th place, overtaking France, Italy, Taiwan, New Zealand and Belgium, as it boasts the world’s highest percentage of high-speed Web households. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan were at the bottom of the list with 2.37 and 2.52 points respectively.
In a 2002 study conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS), Sweden ranked highest for online government usage, followed by Norway, Singapore, and Denmark.
|Swedens Average Web Usage,
February 2003, Home and Work
|Number of Sessions Per Month||20|
|Number of Domains Visited Per Month||43|
|Time Spent Per Month||09:43:00|
|Time Spent During Surfing Session||00:28:46|
|Duration of a Page Viewed||00:00:42|
|Active Internet Universe||4,555,460|
|Current Internet Universe Estimate||6,670,931|
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