The United States of America (USA) has secured the top position in the Global Knowledge Index (GKI) 2022, published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in partnership with the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) under the ‘Knowledge Project’ initiative. With an average score of 68.4 in the index, the USA secured the top spot on GKI after leading many sector indicators. Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands came in second, third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, in the GKI.
In the GKI, the USA ranked first in the following indicators: technical and vocational education and training; the share of students enrolled in post-secondary vocational programs; the extent of staff training; university-industry collaboration in R&D; the state of cluster development; the number of resident patent applications; intellectual property receipts of total trade; research institutions prominence; and the growth of innovative companies. Furthermore, the USA outperformed other countries and secured top positions in terms of expenditure on software as a proportion of GDP; the number of secure internet servers per million population; internet and telephony competition; transport productive capacity; the chinn-Ito financial openness index; and the female-to-male ratio in internet usage.
His Excellency Jamal bin Huwaireb, CEO of the MBRF, said, “The GKI continues to remain a significant knowledge performance indicator across the globe, providing countries with the necessary resources and data to address and solve several pressing knowledge issues. It also aims to explore opportunities in developing knowledge, research, science, innovation, and empowerment. We believe that this will contribute to creating a comprehensive knowledge and research ecosystem, which involves all the development pillars, in line with the combined vision of MBRF and UNDP.”
He added, “The results of the GKI 2022 echo the diligent work undertaken by several research, academic, and scientific institutions, as well as various other entities in the USA, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, and the Netherlands. This represents the countries’ leadership in terms of economic competitiveness, communication effectiveness, educational process quality, and the ability to attract inventors. By drawing attention to the achievements and strengths of these countries, we aim to leverage their expertise as well as explore the various innovative approaches and working mechanisms. We further seek to examine the potential of disseminating them to promote knowledge development worldwide.”
Switzerland, which had topped the Index the previous year, ranked second globally with an average score of 68.3 in the GKI 2022. The country secured the top position in terms of the fields of higher education; research, development, and innovation; and schools with access to computers in primary and secondary education. Additionally, Switzerland came in first in completion rate in upper secondary education, location parity; the quality of vocational training; educational attainment rate, doctoral or equivalent; intellectual property payments and receipts compared to trade; the number of resident patent applications; cultural goods exports; the number of secure internet servers per million population; fixed-broadband subscriptions by speed per hundred people; internet and telephony competition; the chinn-Ito financial openness index; and debt dynamics.
Meanwhile, with an average score of 67, Sweden came in third globally in the GKI 2022. The country ranked third in the indicators of countries with very high human development, indicators of parity by region of completion rate in higher secondary education, percentage of participants rate in formal and non-formal education and training, and continuous training and skilling. Furthermore, Sweden ranked first globally in the number of PCT applications (per 100 billion GDP), percentage of the population covered by 3G or 4G mobile network coverage, internet and telephony competition, and the ICT PCT patent applications (per 100 billion GDP). In terms of the economic sector and enabling environment, Sweden secured the first position in the chinn-Ito financial openness index, the debt dynamics, and the social protection populations.
Finland secured the fourth position in the GKI 2022, reflecting its remarkable performance across indicators related to an enabling environment. The country ranked 1st globally in terms of protecting from natural hazard exposure, social protection coverage, quality of institutions, and rule of law, as well as second place in controlling corruption. The country also secured the top position in the chinn-Ito financial openness index, debt dynamics, schools with access to computers in primary and secondary education, wealth parity of completion rate in upper secondary education, share of students enrolled in post-secondary vocational programs, and the number of PCT applications (per 100 billion GDP). The country has further ranked first in Internet and telephony competition and mobile broadband internet traffic per subscription.
The Netherlands further achieved the fifth position in the GKI 2022, securing first in the wealth parity of the completion rate in upper secondary education, the rate of government expenditure on vocational education, the share of students enrolled in post-secondary vocational programs, schools with access to computers in primary and secondary education, and intellectual property payments and receipts (% of total trade). The country has further been ranked first among the number of secure internet servers per million population, the internet and telephony competition, the female-to-male ratio in internet usage, the chinn-Ito financial openness index, and debt dynamics.
The Global Knowledge Index (GKI) constitutes a significant addition to the global repository of knowledge on development, offering a range of reliable data that assist nations and decision-makers in understanding and addressing knowledge-related changes, challenges, and the main knowledge barriers. The GKI includes seven compound sub-indicators that involve important knowledge sectors and major driving factors for growth and development.