Sweden, Norway, Finland Top U.S. in Info Society Rankings

[London, ENGLAND] Sweden remains the world’s most information
oriented society, while Norway and Finland have elbowed the U.S. into
fourth place, according to research company IDC.

The system of measurement that has arrived at these results assesses
people’s opportunity and ability to use information technology,
taking into account computer, information, Internet, and social
infrastructures.

The information infrastructure of the United States ranks
ninth in the world, according to the 2001 IDC/World Times
Information Society Index (ISI). However, its social infrastructure
ranks 17th.

Each of the infrastructure components is given a specific weighting
according to the extent of its influence within IT.

“The Internet had almost 100 million new users in 2000.
Because of its importance and growth, we had to increase the
weighting of the Internet-related ISI component for this year’s
rankings,” said John Gantz, chief research officer at IDC.

Countries with the highest scores in Internet infrastructure
were Sweden, Singapore, and Australia. Here again, the U.S.
came well down the list — in 10th position.

“Many people in the United States still don’t have Internet
access, and this is dragging down the country’s total ISI rating,”
Gantz said.

Countries with the strongest information infrastructure are
Taiwan, the Netherlands, and Denmark, while Norway, Hong Kong, and
Japan have the strongest social infrastructure.

The U.S. scored most highly in the computer category, being
the country with the strongest computer infrastructure in the
world. Singapore and Australia came second and third.

Ganz pointed out that to reap the full benefits of the information
society, countries need to be strong in all four areas. For
this reason, the Nordic countries are best positioned to
take advantage of the IT revolution.

As for the United Kingdom — it is making a strong showing,
according to the researchers, mainly on account of its
hugely successful mobile phone industry. It improved its
ISI ranking from 12th in 2000 to 6th this year.

To purchase the full report, “Information Society
Index (ISI) 2001 Trends and Ranking,” readers
should get in touch with IDC direct at idc.com.

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