What Are The Most Technologically Advanced Countries?

With technology occupying a huge part of daily life, countries race to be the best. So what countries are the most technologically advanced?

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For our purposes, we've consulted the Global Technology Index from CityLab. The group ranks countries using a combination of factors, including research, development, scientific talent, and innovation. Here are the top 3 countries according to that list:

Finland: The country spends an estimated 3.5 percent of its GDP on tech research and development. To put that in perspective, that's about $10 billion per year, roughly what the U.S. spends on its defense budget. Per capita, Finland has the highest number of scientific researchers and engineers in the world. The country fosters a culture of great innovation, making advancements in biotechnology, clean energy, and growing tech giants like Nokia.

Japan: In the mid- and late-20th century, Japan made the decision to invest heavily in the tech sector, relatively early on. The government encouraged businesses to research and develop semiconductor technology, while pushing foreign competition aside. It paid off in the long-run, as Japan led international sales of semiconductors, microcontrollers, and other foundational technologies.

The United States: In terms of highest revenue, 8 of the top 12 tech companies in the world are based in the U.S., with combined revenue of nearly a trillion U.S. dollars. Interestingly, many of the most recent technological achievements, including nuclear energy, integrated circuitry, and even the internet itself all stem from projects under the Department of Defense. That said, the U.S. has been shifting funds away from tech and research projects over the past few decades. In addition, the monopoly held by some of the biggest tech companies out there means there is not widespread internet access and internet speeds can be significantly lower than those of other countries.

Learn More:
Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) as a Policy Instrument in the Development of Information Technology (Harvard University Center for Information Policy Research)
"Contrary to the popular view of MITI as a autocratic manager and financier of all sectors of the Japanese industrial economy, MITI has been a relatively small participant in influencing the course of development of information technology through direct financial support of R&D in this field."

America last? (Politico)
"Almost all transformative new technologies of the past few decades - nuclear energy, advanced jet aircraft, integrated circuits, computer networks - rose the same way."

Why Are Finland's Schools Successful? (Smithsonian Magazine)
"It was the end of term at Kirkkojarvi Comprehensive School in Espoo, a sprawling suburb west of Helsinki, when Kari Louhivuori, a veteran teacher and the school's principal, decided to try something extreme-by Finnish standards."