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First Web Index Declares Sweden Winners of The Internet

the internet is serious business

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Sweden, you have earned the first “official” World Wide Web bragging rights.

As reported by CNET Asia, the newly-crafted Web Index shows that Sweden is better than the rest of us at using the Internet. How is such a thing measured? The five-year survey of global web usage was conducted by Sir Tim Berners-Lee‘s World Wide Web Foundation, and uses a variety of factors to determine how the Internet is being used to impact growth and development in 61 countries. This includes tracking the number of users, strength of a nation’s technological framework, and counting broadband connections, but also looking at the much more nebulous factors of “political impact” and distribution of information across networks. Secondary data was gathered from multi-lateral organizations such as the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, and yes, Wikipedia.

The study’s website ranks the United States coming in second, with the UK in third. Six of the top ten are European countries, surprisingly outranking tech-industry juggernauts in Asia. Given that one of the measurements of the index is an availability-to-user ratio, countries like China, with higher population and a larger geographic area, might take a hit in the rankings simply due to size.

Just as interesting are the Index’s key findings about global Internet accessibility, namely that only 1-in-3 people use the Internet, and that the ratio is continentally lowest in Africa, where the it drops to 1-to-6. (I’m distressed to see that several times the report groups all African nations together without preamble, and would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that Africa is a large continent made up of several autonomous countries, not a country itself.) Overall, the Index paints an interesting picture of the rapidly-expanding impact that the Web has had on our little blue planet in just a couple decades. Full details can be found in the easy-to-read PDF report, provided here.

(via CNET Asia.)

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