World Wide Web Foundation Index
World Wide Web Foundation Index
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Sunday, 09 September 2012

The World Wide Web Foundation has launched an online tool for measuring the economic, political, and social impact of the Web. It show that Sweden currently leads the world in terms of the factors it measures.

The World Wide Web Foundation founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the Web, has produced an online index designed to analyze the impact of the Web. The index is a country-by-country global study that measures the impact of the Web on the world’s people and nations. It covers 61 developed and developing countries.

Berners-Lee said:

”The Web Index was created to measure the state of the Web in the world. Each country will see not only where they rank compared to others, but also what the World Wide Web Foundation thinks they need to do to improve.”


The ranking is worked out by considering each country’s web usage in terms of the percentage of web users within the country and the content they have available. Web readiness is another factor, and is estimated according to the communications infrastructure of the country alongside its regulatory climate and censorship policies. The final aspect is the human impact, which is calculated by taking into account a range of economic, political, and social indicators including the use of social networks and how much business is carried out online.

Sweden comes highest in the overall rankings, with the USA second and the UK third. However, if you explore the Web Index, you find that the USA comes top for Web usage and Iceland, which is ranked 12 overall for Readiness. Sweden top ranking is due to the impact component of the score web; it is top in terms of Political impact, followed by Singapore, ranked 11 overall.  Ireland, ranked 10, tops the rankings for Economic impact followed by Switzerland, ranked 6, and Canada  comes top in terms of Social impact.  The Visualizations section of the site allows you to explore scores by continent and by country and  you can also group countries in terms of national income on a global map:




The idea behind the index, Berners-Lee said at the launch of the index, is to show where barriers exist on web usage to empower individuals, government and organizations to improve their societies, adding:

"the web is a global conversation. Growing suppression of free speech, both online and offline, is possibly the single biggest challenge to the future of the web."

More Information

Web Index

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