World's Biggest Internet Users ... Aren't Americans

95% of Icelanders online, but Sweden ultimately tops new index
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2012 1:10 PM CDT
World's Biggest Internet Users ... Aren't Americans

If you think the US has "surfing the Internet" cornered, think again: A new global index evaluates the state of the World Wide Web around the globe, and finds that Iceland actually has the greatest web use, boasting 95% of its population online. The Web Index, put together by Web founder Tim Berners-Lee, ranks Sweden tops overall, based on factors including Internet use but also web readiness and impact. The US comes in second, followed by the UK and Canada.

The index aims to chart "web penetration and adoption," the Atlantic explains; the BBC says the index measures the web's "social and political impact." Some of its findings are disappointing. For example, just one in three people around the world use the Internet, and in Africa that's one in six. And, in one out of every three countries, there are restrictions on web usage. Says Berners-Lee, "Growing suppression of free speech, both online and offline, is possibly the single biggest challenge to the future of the web." (Read more Tim Berners-Lee stories.)

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