UK figures in UN’s lowest 25 & top 10

Quite a few are catching up on the *ITU’s (International Telecommunication Union a UN agency) annual global publication, Measuring The Information Society (2012)  with at least one getting their millions and billions confused. Now corrected.

It’s at least a 230 page report so here’s a link to The Executive Summary pdf. We are going to be ultra selective or some might even say parochial with our comments!

The headlines, or “main findings”  as selected by them are also available as a pdf.

Click to enlarge

Our distillation follows:

  • 86% of the world’s inhabitants have a mobile connection
  • 2.3 billion that’s almost 1/3 of the world’s population are connected to the internet
  • Virtually all countries improved their overall connectivity in the year on average by 5.3%
  • Global revenues from telecommunication services represent 2.4 per cent of the world GDP (2010)

Click to read!

The ITU’s favoured index “The ICT Development Index (IDI) is a composite index combining 11 indicators into one benchmark measure that serves to monitor and compare developments in information and communication technology (ICT) across countries.” This puts the UK in position 9 a move upwards of 5 places on last year and ahead of the US by 6 places who moved up 1 place in the year.

The top 10 are (2010):

  1. South Korea (1)
  2. Sweden (2)
  3. Denmark (3)
  4. Iceland (4)
  5. Finland (5)
  6. Netherlands (7)
  7. Luxembourg (6)
  8. Japan (8)
  9. UK (14)
  10. Switzerland (9)


As with certain other communication measures South Korea heads the list. 8 out of the top 10 are European countries and as the ITU objectively state “they include four Nordic countries….” Singapore has dropped out of the top 10 to #12 in the year.

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The UK is featured as one of their “Selected dynamic countries” who warrant a spider chart. We’ve compare it with Rwanda in 133rd position this year. As is clearly shown the most notable UK change is on mobile broadband subscriptions. Overall global active mobile broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants has increased  from 11 to 16 during the year.

Click to read

Their secondary index on pricing  IPB (ICT Price Basket) has the UK at # 24 and was unchanged in index value terms in the year. The following are the leading 10 (ie lowest priced) countries in 2011 (2010):


  1. Macao (1)
  2. Norway (3=)
  3. Singapore (2=)
  4. Qatar (3=)
  5. Luxembourg (3=)
  6. UAE (3=)
  7. Denmark (3=)
  8. Hong Kong (3=)
  9. Sweden (10=)
  10. USA (10=)

24. UK (18=)


So on this criteria some of rhe far and middle east smaller city countries dominate. We’ve cut this table down to just show 2011 (2010) and some Income per capita information.

Much too comprehensive a report for us to do justice to here so we suggest you peruse it at your leisure elsewhere.

“Press release

Journalists wishing to receive a free copy of the full report in PDF format should contact Ning Wang at the ITU Press Office at”

*ITU (International Telecommunication Union) is the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies – ICTs. An organization based on public-private partnership since its inception, ITU currently has a membership of 193 countries and over 700 private-sector entities and academic institutions. ITU is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has twelve regional and area offices around the world.

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