The Network Readiness Index 2020 ranks a total of 134 economies that collectively account for almost 98 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP). Sweden remains the top performer. The biggest mover is Denmark, which surged from sixth position to rank second in this year’s index, pushing Singapore and the Netherlands down one place each to third and fourth, respectively. Switzerland, like last year, rounds out the top 5. The other five countries that make up the top 10 are Finland (6th, up from 7th in NRI 2019), Norway (7th, down from 6th), United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom (8th, 9th, and 10th, respectively, the same as their 2019 positions).

As the list of the top 10 performers indicates, NRI 2020 confirms that advanced economies in Europe, parts of Asia and the Pacific, and North America are among the world’s most network-ready societies. More concretely, 17 of the top 25 countries are in Europe (primarily Northern and Western Europe), four economies are in Eastern and Southeastern Asia, two are in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand), and two are in North America (Canada and the United States).

All in all, the country coverage has increased from 121 economies in NRI 2019 to 134 economies in NRI 2020. No country has dropped out from last year’s index; the rise is therefore due to 13 new additions: Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gambia, Guinea, Lesotho, and Montenegro.
Of the economies covered in this year’s index, 50 are high-income economies, 35 are upper-middle-income countries, 34 are lower-middle-income countries, and 15 are low-income countries. In terms of regional distribution, there are 31 African countries, 13 Arab States, 21 economies from Asia and the Pacific, seven from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), 41 European countries, and 21 countries from the Americas.

Top 3 Countries by income group
High-income countriesUpper-middle-income countriesLower-middle-income countriesLow-income countries
1. Sweden1. Malaysia1. Vietnam1. Rwanda
2. Denmark2. China2. Ukraine2. Tajikistan
3. Singapore3. Bulgaria3. Moldova3. Uganda
Top 3 Countries by region (global ranking in parantheses)
AfricaArab StatesAsia & PacificCISEuropeThe Americas
1. Mauritius (61)1. United Arab Emirates (30)1. Singapore (3)1. Rusian Federation (48)1. Sweden (1)1. United States (8)
2. South Africa (76)2. Qatar (38)2. Australia (12)2. Armenia (55)2. Denmark (2)2. Canada (13)
3. Kenya3. Saudi Arabia (41)3. Korea Rep. (14)3. Kazakhstan (56)3. Netherlands (4)3. Uruguay (47)
See map
1st Quartile
2nd Quartile
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4th Quartile

Although there were some ranking changes within the group, the countries in the NRI 2020 top 10 remain the same from last year's edition. One distinguishing feature of the top 10 performers is that they do well in most dimensions of the NRI. Indeed, they are all among the 15 highest-ranked countries in each of the four pillars and perform equally well in at least two-thirds of the 12 sub-pillars. As would be expected, all of the top 10 countries are high-income economies. As for the regional distribution, Europe dominates with eight countries, while Singapore is the only top 10 economy situated in Asia and the Pacific, and the United States is the only one located in the Americas.

Regarding the top performers in this year's index, 17 of the top 25 countries are in Europe (primarily Northern and Western Europe), four economies are in Eastern and South-eastern Asia, two are in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand), and two are in Northern America (Canada and the United States). Rich countries continue to be better prepared to face future challenges. Additional action is required to prevent international inequalities to broaden in a post-COVID environment.

Ranking Countries
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4th Quartile