Network Readiness Index 2021

Benchmarking the Future of the Network Economy

NRI 2021 Ranking Download Report
Presentation Press Release

Explore the Readiness Ranking

How the ranking works

Since network readiness is a multi-dimensional concept, the Network Readiness Index (NRI) is a composite index constructed with three levels.

The primary level consists of four pillars that make up the fundamental dimensions of network readiness. Each of the fundamental pillars divides into additional sub-pillars that constitute the second level. The third level consists of individual indicators distributed across the different sub-pillars and pillars of the primary and secondary levels. All indicators used within the NRI belong to a pillar and a sub-pillar.


Technology is at the heart of the network economy. This pillar, therefore, seeks to assess the level of technology that is a sine qua non for a country’s participation in the global economy.


The availability and level of technology in a country is only of interest insofar as its population and organizations have the access, resources, and skills to use it productively.


Governance is all about, how safe individuals and firms are in the context of the network economy, regulation and digital inclusion.


Ultimately, readiness in the network economy is a means to improve the growth and well-being in society and the economy.

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Network Readiness Index (NRI) 2021 Highlights


Compared to previous years, the ranking of the top 10 performers in the NRI 2021 experienced some significant shifts in its composition. While the countries within the top 10 remain the same, specific countries made notable movements within the upper group.

The top 10 performers all demonstrate solid performance metrics across the highest number of dimensions of the NRI. They all rank as the top 20 countries on each of the four primary pillars (Technology, People, Governance, Impact) and on at least two-thirds of the twelve sub-pillars. In terms of regional distribution, Europe leads with eight top ten countries, while Singapore and the United States represent the only economies located in Asia and the Pacific and the Americas, respectively.

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Our Story

Initially launched in 2002 with the World Economic Forum, the NRI has been redesigned in 2019 by its founders and co-editors, Soumitra Dutta and Bruno Lanvin, now under the auspices of the Portulans Institute, to reflect how technology and people need to be integrated within an effective governance structure in order to have the right impact on our economy, society and the environment. The 2021 NRI is the third edition of this renewed methodological model and it is focused on the impact of digital technologies on making the post-COVID world more equal. It ranks a total of 130 economies based on their performance across 60 variables.

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Knowledge Partners (KPs) are a select group of public or private institutions that are passionate about the overall goal of using technology for the good of all. KPs are actively engaged with the use of technology to enhance competitiveness, to further development and to support an inclusive and sustainable growth agenda. KPs commit to engaging with Portulans Institute to support the development of the NRI across the entire cycle - from its conceptual framework to its execution and launch.

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Our 2021 Knowledge Partner: STL

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