Sweden is the most technologically advanced nation in the world, according to the annual Information Society Index compiled by IDC.
The study examines the adoption and use of IT and how it relates to society. This year, IDC measured 53 countries on variables such as broadband penetration, wireless penetration, total spending on IT as a percentage of GDP, civil liberties and e-commerce spending.
In Sweden, 69% of the country has access to the internet, with 15% using broadband. Eighty percent of Sweden’s population subscribes to cellular wireless services and 25% of web users access the internet from mobile devices.
The country spends 4.1% of its GDP on IT, with 20% of that being spent on software. According to IDC, technologically advanced countries tend to spend more on software while less sophisticated nations are still spending on infrastructure.
It is often assumed that the US is the most advanced society, but Sweden has outranked it for several years, said Stephen Minton, director of worldwide IT markets and strategies for IDC.
The top 10 countries, in order, are Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland, New Zealand, Switzerland, the US Austria and Canada.
The UK fell to 11th because of its relatively low percentage of broadband subscriber households, at 4.3%. The Netherlands has 11.8% broadband penetration.
IDC also ranked a bottom 10 out of the 53 countries studied. The least technologically advanced, from the last upward, are Bulgaria, Egypt, Romania, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey, China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam.
However, some of the poorest nations did not even make it to the list because there was not enough data to analyse.
Rebecca Reid writes for IDG News Service