US loses top tech spot

As Denmark climbs to number one

The US has slipped down the rankings of technology nations, falling from the top spot to number seven in the latest rankings from the World Economic Forum.

In 2005-2006, the US was number one followed by Singapore, Denmark, and Iceland. But this year's Global Information Technology Report puts the US in seventh place. The UK manages to crawl up one place - from tenth last year to ninth this year.

The report looks at 122 countries and judges their infrastructure according to 67 variables. It judges network readiness in three ways: a conducive environment in terms of regulation and hard and soft infrastructure; the level of readiness among individuals, businesses and government; and the actual use of information and communication technology by those three groups.

Denmark won the top spot this year, and all Nordic countries except Iceland moved up the list. China makes it into the top 20 for the first time - at joint thirteenth along with Taiwan.*

Irene Mia, a co-author of the report and senior economist at the World Economic Forum, told the Reg: "It's not really such a big fall for the US - when you're in the top 10 little differences in scores can mean a big fall in position. But the regulatory environment was seen as less favourable and usage fell - not in actual terms but against other countries which have gained more. The US is still number one in many ways - for venture capital, for innovation - in terms of patents."

Mia said ICT was also starting to make a real impact on the developing world and sub-Saharan Africa. Mia said: "It's extremely important, not just for productivity and competitiveness, but also for everyday life. The impact of mobile phones for access to markets and education or even just keeping in touch with people. Latin America is also making progress, slower than parts of Asia but it is making progress."

Go here for more details - there's even a stuttery Google video to watch.

*Bootnote: An observant reader pointed out: Mainland China is at 59th place. It's Taiwan, China at 13th place.®

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