US slips down IT rankings as Scandinavia forges ahead

Sweden has maintained its position as the world's most successful information economy, according to newly published rankings,...

Sweden has maintained its position as the world's most successful information economy, according to newly published rankings, while the US has slipped from second place down to fourth.

Roanna Avison

The IDC and World Times Information Society Index ranks countries according to their ability to access and absorb IT. Their rating is based on four infrastructure categories: computer, information, Internet, and social.

Scandinavian countries dominate the top three places this year, with Norway displacing the US in second position (moving up from fourth) and Finland again occupying the number three spot.

The UK was one of the year's biggest climbers, improving its ISI ranking from 12th to sixth on the back of its rapid cellular phone adoption.

The ISI credited Sweden, Singapore, and Australia with the highest Internet infrastructure scores, with the US back in tenth position.

"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 IDC chief research officer John Gantz in a statement.

The US information infrastructure is rated ninth, while its social infrastructure ranks 17th. The countries with the strongest information infrastructure are Taiwan, the Netherlands, and Denmark.

Norway, Hong Kong, and Japan are credited with the strongest social infrastructure. The US only heads the rankings for computer infrastructure, with Singapore and Australia rounding out the top three.

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