UNESCO.ORG | Education | Natural Sciences | Social & Human Sciences | Culture | Communication & Information


graphic element 1

Communication and Information Resources

graphic element 2


Communication and Information Sector's news service

New ITU ICT Development Index compares 154 countries

04-03-2009 (Geneva)
New ITU ICT Development Index compares 154 countries
Publication cover
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) releases its new ICT Development Index (IDI), which compares developments in information and communication technologies (ICT) in 154 countries over a five-year period from 2002 to 2007.
The Index combines 11 indicators into a single measure that can be used as a benchmarking tool globally, regionally and at the country level. These are related to ICT access, use and skills, such as households with a computer, the number of Internet users and literacy levels.

The most advanced countries in ICT are from Northern Europe. The exception is the Republic of Korea. Sweden tops the new ITU ICT Development Index, followed by the Republic of Korea, Denmark, the Netherlands, Iceland and Norway. They are followed by other, mainly high-income countries from Europe, Asia and North America. Poor countries, in particular the least developed countries, remain at the lower end of the index with limited access to ICT infrastructure, including fixed and mobile telephony, Internet and broadband.

The Report finds that all countries (except one) have improved their ICT levels during the past five years, but some much more than others. Eastern Europe not only features high relative growth but also one of the highest IDI value gains and can thus be considered as the most dynamic region on ICT developments during this time period. Countries that were driving this process include the Baltic States and Romania. Other economies that have significantly improved their ICT levels are Luxembourg, the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, Macao (China), Japan, Italy and France.

Globally speaking, most progress has been made on ICT access, which includes fixed and mobile telephony, Internet bandwidth, and households with computers and Internet. In terms of ICT use, which includes the number of Internet users, fixed and mobile broadband, progress has been much slower. In particular broadband, a more recent technology, still has to take off in many countries.

Countries with low ICT levels (and hence low Index ranks) are primarily from the developing world. Given the close relationship between ICT level and GDP, many of the poorer countries, in particular from Africa, rank further down in the IDI, with little change in ranking since 2002. More
New ITU ICT Development Index compares 154 countries © ITU

Related themes/countries
Share this story:
  • co.mments
  • del.icio.us
  • digg
  • Furl
  • Ma.gnolia
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • Shadows
  • Simpy
  • YahooMyWeb