Internet Index Results Mean Maybe We Should Just Rename It The Sweden Wide Web

Slow your chants of “We’re No. 1! We’re No. 1!” and stop waving that foam finger, America. We aren’t number one, at least not so far as the World Wide Web is considered — Sweden is. I know, so disappointing and now it’s totally going to be renamed the Sweden Wide Web except not really because that would be silly. Anyway, a new index from the World Wide Web Foundation has bestowed the No. 1 crown on Sweden, where about 95% of citizen are online.

That country gets the most out of its Internet usage, says the index, while only one in three people around the world are actually using the Web. In Africa, the share of users is even smaller than the global results, notes the Los Angeles Times. The foundation is a nonprofit group that worked to try and rank, sort and otherwise nail down how various countries surf the webbernets. It isn’t only about who is using the Internet where, but rather what different people are getting from it.

“We want to take this issue about whether or not people are a part of the information society and help increase awareness that it’s as important as access to water and vaccinations –- it’s not a secondary issue,” Internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee said in the newly released report.

Falling in line behind Sweden (sigh, No. 1) are the United States, Britain, Canada, Finland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Norway and Ireland. Something all those nations have in common is money — the average income there is higher there than in say, many many countries in Africa.

That income disparity could be why countries like Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso fall behind. Logging on in Africa costs half the average monthly income in many of the countries surveyed there, while in America it costs only about 5% or less of average monthly income and only 1.7% in Europe.

Money isn’t everything — Qatar was up there on the average income list but ranked lower because its citizens haven’t really used the Web much to effect politics in that country. Government censorship wasn’t taken into account, but the study’s organizers hope to include that in future indices.

Now get back to using the Internet for absolutely everything you do so that we can finally be winners again, America. I miss chanting and waving that foam finger already.

Sweden tops, Yemen last in getting most out of Internet, study says [Los Angeles Times]


Edit Your Comment

  1. NotEd says:

    Ah, Sweden. Number one in Bikini Teams and now Internet too!
    Is there anything our new blond overlords can’t do?

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    America’s biggest weakness is its arrogance. About the only things we are in the lead in globally is consumption, pollution, and political scandals. And I’m not even sure about the first two.

    • wombats lives in [redacted] says:

      We are the fattest.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Well done.

      • wombats lives in [redacted] says:

        Assault By Rifle, Shotgun Or Larger Firearm – easy win.
        Death By Reptile – We must really be trying hard to get this one.
        Divorce Rate – :(
        Marriage Rate – thanks to the above we’ve got this one bagged.
        Television Viewing
        Debt Owed To Other Countries
        First World Executions

    • YamiNoSenshi says:

      We lead the world in incarcerations per capita, health care spending per capita (but not outcomes), and defense spending (where we beat the next 26 countries combined, 25 of which are allies).

      • LabanDenter says:

        those 25 allies should pay for the ‘free’ defense they get from us.

        • Overman says:

          Um, they get free defense because we refuse to pay UN dues.
          Insted we provide material and manual support through our armed forces.
          Logisticaly, we spend more than we would if we just cut a check.
          But then we wouldn’t be able to use Turkey for renditions.

    • Cerne says:

      Quick question. How many people want to emigrate to Sweden compared to the US? Your country isn’t perfect, but it’s still pretty awesome.

    • Snowblind says:

      Do you really want 95% of all Americans on line?

      That would net most of Honey Boo Boo’s fan base, leaving only technophobes and mountain men offline.

      • StarKillerX says:

        Hell, I don’t want most of the people currently online to be here. lol!

        Eternal September continues unabated. :(

    • StarKillerX says:

      Pollution? You obviously haven’t seen conditions in China some of the former USSR countries, or many third world countries.

    • LabanDenter says:

      What an ignorant post(er)

    • Greg Ohio says:

      Healthcare spending: #1
      Healthcare results: #38

      Naturally, this means we should repeal healthcare reform and ban Sharia Law instead.

  3. Blueskylaw says:

    I’m sure that after reading this article, all the cable companies will raise their prices on internet service and use that money to bring more internet connectivity to America and bring our status back to #1 as the most progressive and connected nation.

    Or maybe they’ll just distribute the price increase in the form of executive bonuses and won’t actually care about Americas ranking in worldwide internet connectivity. Yes, I believe my second thought is the correct one.

  4. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    In Africa, the share of users is even smaller than the global results, notes the Los Angeles Times.

    Hold on now, you mean there is some place below average? Details in the morning edition.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      I went to the article to see if Consumerist wuoted it wrong, but not. It really is telling us that, lo and behold, there is a country that is below the average, while some are above average.

      News at 11.

    • George4478 says:

      That’s absurd. No place should be allowed to be below average. Something must be done!

    • RvLeshrac says:

      The best part, really, is that Africa is below-average in internet usage, but many of the countries still beat the US on speed.

      • StarKillerX says:

        True, but you need to remember that is a matter of population density of those being provided the service then anything else.

        If you break out US internet speeds you’ll find the same thing, it would be far easier, and less expensive, to increase the speed of service to 500k people in NYC then it would be to provide the same increase it to the 134k people in Chautauqua County NY.

        Using the populations denities of those two areas the provider in NY would only need to cover 20 sq miles to but in Chautauqua County the coverage would have to extend beyond 1000 sq miles (50 times the area for 1/3 the people.)

  5. Cerne says:

    ” help increase awareness that it’s as important as access to water and vaccinations –- it’s not a secondary issue,”

    Ah the sweet, sweet smell of bull shit on a late summer evening.

    • Plasmafox says:

      A person will die without access to clean water. A person won’t *live* without the freedom to access information and connect with the world.

      • StarKillerX says:

        You can actually access information without the internet, I know it’s a strange concept but believe it or not, in the stone ages of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s we had these things called…… books, newpapers, radio, etc…..

        Also considering what’s been happening in the US I think a fairly strong case could be made that fewer people actually “live” their life now because of the internet and cellphones. It’s pathetic how many people are to busy text messaging, tweeting or posting on facebook to actually live their own life.

  6. farker says:

    Jeez louise. If internet access is 5% of your monthly income, you’re making $25k…I would hope it’s less than 5% for most people!

  7. Plasmafox says:

    I KNEW IT. Swedish people have a visible presence everywhere I go online. And they’re generally nice, chill people too, it’s definitely not a bad thing.

  8. jessjj347 says:

    Went directory to the Web Index’s methodology, and the “index” does not measure how many people are connected to the Internet, like this Consumerist summary makes it seem. It instead, derives a score at which “Internet impact” is determined.

    “The Web Index is a composite measure that summarizes in a single (average) number the impact and value derived from the Web in various countries. There are serious challenges when attempting to measure and quantify some of the dimensions the Index covers (e.g. the social and political), and suitable proxies are used instead.”

    So this is misleading, “No. 1 crown on Sweden, where about 95% of citizen are online.”

  9. golddog says:

    America would be #1 but 20% are still waiting for Comcast to show up for their install appointment.