Under Analysis - Australia, well done!

We should be proud. Australia's recent high rating in the recent Information Society Index proves we are up there with the best.

Australia has been highly rated in the recently updated Information Society Index (ISI) which assessed the ability of individuals in 55 industrial and emerging economies to access, adopt and absorb information and information technologies. The groudbreaking indicator from International Data Corporation (IDC) and World Times measured 20 distinct variables to provide a single indicator of each country's progress toward an economy driven by information technology.

The ISI is the single most useful metric that gauges participation in the Global Information Revolution. Australia was ranked 12th out of 55 with an Index of 3,143. This was well ahead of many European countries and the Asian countries.

Because the necessary resources for individuals to participate in the information age are diverse, the Index comprises 20 data elements from three critical infrastructures:

Social -- for example, school enrolment, press freedom, and civil libertiesInformation -- for example, telephone lines per household, telephone faults per line, and cellular phones per capita.

Computer -- for example, PCs installed per capita, percentage of networked PCs, software/hardware spending, and Internet hosts per capita.

Australia ranked #15 in the social element, #14 in the information element and #5 in the computer element to give an overall ranking of #12.

The top 15 countries in order of the Information Imperative Index are:

Country Social Rank Information Rank Computer Rank OverallUnited States 544 2 1,856 1 2,433 1 4,833Finland 536 3 938 13 2,117 2 3,591Denmark 492 8 1,316 3 1,668 8 3,476Sweden 485 9 1,235 5 1,722 7 3,442Norway 518 5 1,057 9 1,848 4 3,423Netherlands 493 7 1,193 7 1,613 9 3,299Switzerland 463 13 1,036 11 1,789 6 3,288Canada 573 1 1,094 8 1,611 10 3,278New Zealand 526 4 1,289 4 1,434 12 3,249United Kingdom 461 14 1,212 6 1,571 11 3,244Japan 461 16 1,422 2 1,360 13 3,233Australia 453 15 875 14 1,815 5 3,143Singapore 282 37 824 16 1,859 3 2,965Hong Kong 407 21 1,044 10 1,182 15 2,633Germany 467 6 824 16 1,204 14 1,495Graham Penn is general manager of research for IDC Australia

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