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Ranked: The Most Innovative Countries in 2023

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Ranked: The Most Innovative Countries in 2023

The Most Innovative Countries in the World in 2023

Which countries are the global innovation powerhouses?

In many ways, the past year has represented an inflection point in technological advancement. Almost overnight, OpenAIโ€™s large language model ChatGPT became a household name and AI was within reach to the masses.

Yet looking under the surface, innovation is influenced by several unseen factors, from the institutional environment and high-tech exports to research talent and entrepreneurship culture.

This graphic shows the most innovative countries in the world, based on the 2023 Global Innovation Index (GII) put together by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

How is Innovation Measured?

The GII framework uses seven pillars and 80 indicators to assess a countryโ€™s innovative strength:

Innovation PillarExample Indicators
๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป Knowledge & Tech OutputsPatent applications, Hi-tech manufacturing
๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿซ Human Capital & ResearchResearchers per million population, Global corporate R&D investors
๐Ÿงณ Business SophisticationKnowledge-intensive employment, University-industry R&D collaboration
๐Ÿ“ˆ Market SophisticationFinance for startups, Venture capital received
๐Ÿ’ก Creative OutputsTrademark applications, Global brand value
๐Ÿ›ฃ๏ธ InfrastructureEnvironmental performance, Information and communication technology access
๐Ÿ›๏ธ InstitutionsRegulatory quality, Policies for doing business

Together, the sum of these pillars produces an overall score for each country.

Most Innovative Countries in 2023

For the 13th consecutive year, Switzerland was named the worldโ€™s most innovative country.

Among the key factors underscoring its rank are its policies for doing business and its scale of patent applications. Its world-class research institutions and skilled workforce are also key ingredients in fostering innovation.

Below, we show the most innovative countries in 2023 across 132 economies:

RankCountryScore
1๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland67.6
2๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช Sweden64.2
3๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S.63.5
4๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UK62.4
5๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Singapore61.5
6๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Finland61.2
7๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Netherlands60.4
8๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany58.8
9๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Denmark58.7
10๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท South Korea58.6
11๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท France56.0
12๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China55.3
13๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan54.6
14๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Israel54.3
15๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Canada53.8
16๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช Estonia53.4
17๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Hong Kong SAR53.3
18๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น Austria53.2
19๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด Norway50.7
20๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iceland50.7
21๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บ Luxembourg50.6
22๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช Ireland50.4
23๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช Belgium49.9
24๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ Australia49.7
25๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น Malta49.1
26๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy46.6
27๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ New Zealand46.6
28๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡พ Cyprus46.3
29๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain45.9
30๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal44.9
31๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Czech Republic44.8
32๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช UAE43.2
33๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Slovenia42.2
34๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น Lithuania42.0
35๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ Hungary41.3
36๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ Malaysia40.9
37๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป Latvia39.7
38๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ Bulgaria39.0
39๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท Tรผrkiye38.6
40๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ India38.1
41๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ Poland37.7
42๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท Greece37.5
43๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ Thailand37.1
44๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท Croatia37.1
45๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Slovakia36.2
46๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณ Vietnam36.0
47๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด Romania34.7
48๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Saudi Arabia34.5
49๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท Brazil33.6
50๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Qatar33.4
51๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ Russia33.3
52๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Chile33.3
53๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ Serbia33.1
54๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ North Macedonia33.0
55๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Ukraine32.8
56๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ Philippines32.2
57๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡บ Mauritius32.1
58๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mexico31.0
59๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ South Africa30.4
60๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Moldova30.3
61๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ Indonesia30.3
62๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ท Iran30.1
63๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡พ Uruguay30.0
64๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ผ Kuwait29.9
65๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ช Georgia29.9
66๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ด Colombia29.4
67๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ญ Bahrain29.1
68๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ณ Mongolia28.8
69๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ฒ Oman28.4
70๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Morocco28.4
71๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ด Jordan28.2
72๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Armenia28.0
73๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ท Argentina28.0
74๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท Costa Rica27.9
75๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ช Montenegro27.8
76๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ช Peru27.7
77๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฆ Bosnia and Herzegovina27.1
78๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Jamaica27.1
79๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ณ Tunisia26.9
80๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡พ Belarus26.8
81๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Kazakhstan26.7
82๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Uzbekistan26.2
83๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Albania25.4
84๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฆ Panama25.3
85๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ผ Botswana24.6
86๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ Egypt24.2
87๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ณ Brunei23.5
88๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ Pakistan23.3
89๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Azerbaijan23.3
90๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฐ Sri Lanka23.3
91๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ป Cabo Verde23.3
92๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ง Lebanon23.2
93๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ณ Senegal22.5
94๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ด Dominican Republic22.4
95๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ป El Salvador21.8
96๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Namibia21.8
97๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ด Bolivia21.4
98๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡พ Paraguay21.4
99๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ญ Ghana21.3
100๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช Kenya21.2
101๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ญ Cambodia20.8
102๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡น Trinidad and Tobago20.7
103๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ผ Rwanda20.6
104๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡จ Ecuador20.5
105๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฉ Bangladesh20.2
106๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Kyrgyzstan20.2
107๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Madagascar19.1
108๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต Nepal18.8
109๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Nigeria18.4
110๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฆ Laos18.3
111๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฏ Tajikistan18.3
112๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Cรดte dโ€™Ivoire18.2
113๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฟ Tanzania17.4
114๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฌ Togo16.9
115๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ Nicaragua16.9
116๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ณ Honduras16.7
117๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ผ Zimbabwe16.5
118๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Zambia16.4
119๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Algeria16.1
120๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฏ Benin16.0
121๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Uganda16.0
122๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡น Guatemala15.8
123๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฒ Cameroon15.3
124๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ซ Burkina Faso14.5
125๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡น Ethiopia14.3
126๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฟ Mozambique13.6
127๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ท Mauritania13.5
128๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ณ Guinea13.3
129๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฑ Mali12.9
130๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฎ Burundi12.5
131๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ช Niger12.4
132๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ด Angola10.3

For full methodology notes on which economies are included in the report, see the bottom of the article.

Sweden ranked second, rising above the U.S. this year. The country excelled in business sophistication, knowledge-intensive employment, and researchers per capita.

While the U.S. ranked third overall, it saw the highest scores in venture capital received, global corporate research and development (R&D) investors, and total unicorn value. Of the 1,206 global unicorns as of April 2023, the U.S. was home to 54% of the total.

Most Innovative Countries 2019 to 2023

At fifth overall, Singapore ranked the highest in Asia. As both a financial hub and global innovator, Singapore ranked strongly on government effectiveness, venture capital received, and stability for business. It has the highest venture funding per capita in the world.

Brazil (49th) ranked highest in Latin America, while Mauritius (57th) was the top-ranking country in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Top 25 Science & Technology Clusters

Here are the top science and technology (S&T) clusters per capita, based on the density of scientific authors and inventors in a geographic location:

2023 RankingCluster EconomyTop ApplicantTop Scientific Organization
1Cambridge๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UKARMCambridge University
2San Joseโ€“
San Francisco
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S.GoogleStanford University
3Oxford๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง UKOxford UniversityOxford University
4Eindhoven๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ NetherlandsPhilips ElectronicsEindhoven University
of Technology
5Bostonโ€“
Cambridge
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S.MITMIT
6Daejeon๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท South KoreaLG ChemKAIST
7Ann Arbor๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S.University of MichiganUniversity of Michigan
8San Diego๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S.QualcommUniversity of California
San Diego
9Seattle๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S.MicrosoftUniversity of Washington
Seattle
10Munich๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช GermanyBMWTechnical University
of Munich
11Kanazawa๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต JapanFujitsuKanazawa University
12Raleigh๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S.Duke UniversityDuke University
13Gรถteborg๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช SwedenLM EricssonUniversity of Gothenburg
14Beijing๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ ChinaBOE TechnologyTsinghua University
15Stockholm๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช SwedenLM EricssonKarolinska Institutet
16Helsinki๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ FinlandNokiaUniversity of Helsinki
17Zรผrich๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ SwitzerlandETH ZรผrichETH Zรผrich
18Tokyoโ€“Yokohama๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต JapanMitsubishi ElectricUniversity of Tokyo
19Basel๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ Switzerland, Denmark, FranceDSM IP AssetsUniversity of Basel
20Copenhagen๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ DenmarkNovo NordiskUniversity of Copenhagen
21Nurembergโ€“Erlangen๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช GermanySiemensUniversity of Erlangen
Nuremberg
22Stuttgart๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช GermanyRobert BoschEberhard Karls
University of Tรผbingen
23Minneapolis๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S.3M Innovative PropertiesUniversity of Minnesota
Twin Cities
24Pittsburgh๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ U.S.University of PittsburghUniversity of Pittsburgh
25Seoul๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท South KoreaSamsung ElectronicsSeoul National University

As the top S&T cluster by intensity, Cambridge produced 37,000 articles per million people. Its top applicant, ARM, is a semiconductor company working closely with Cambridge University. Over 130 billion devices globally have used chips based on ARMโ€™s designs.

The San Jose-San Francisco cluster ranked second, with Google as the top applicant. In 2022, the U.S. granted Googleโ€™s parent company Alphabet 2,077 patents.

South Koreaโ€™s Daejeon cluster is the top in Asia, led by battery maker LG Chem. In 2022, over 49,000 domestic and overseas patents were registered. In fact, both Honda and GM are partnering with LG Chem to build multi-billion dollar battery factories in Ohio over the next few years.

As we can see, many of the world’s most innovative countries have strong clusters that attract tech firms, researchers, and knowledge-intensive workers due to a host of factors that support disruption and tech advancement.

These tech clusters have a powerful effect on creating innovations that extend across multiple sectors of the economy, and the wider global landscape.

Where Does This Data Come From?

Source: World Intellectual Property Organization Global Innovation Index (2023).

Note: The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an agency of the United Nations. It includes 190 UN member states, as well as three non-members: the Cook Islands, Holy See, and Niue.

Countries that are not a part of the WIPO include three UN-recognized countriesโ€”the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and South Sudanโ€”as well as other non-members including Taiwan.

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Ranked: The World’s Top 10 Electronics Exporters (2000-2021)

Here are the largest electronics exporters by country, highlighting how electronics trade has increasingly shifted to Asia over 20 years.

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Visualized: The Top 10 Electronics Exporters in the World

Top 10 Electronics Exporters in the World (2000-2021)

From personal computers to memory chips, the electronics trade plays a vital role in the world economy. In 2021, global electronics exports reached $4.1 trillion according to McKinsey Global Institute.

This graphic shows the 10 largest electronics exporters in the world, based on data from McKinsey, and how they’ve changed since 2000.

Ranked: The Top 10 Exporters of Electronics

Which countries are the leading exporters of electronics, and how has this shifted over the last two decades?

RankCountryShare of Total 2021Share of Total 2000
1๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ China34%9%
2๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ Taiwan11%6%
3๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท South Korea7%5%
4๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณ Vietnam5%N/A
5๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ Malaysia5%5%
6๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan4%13%
7๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ United States4%16%
8๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช Germany4%5%
9๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ Mexico3%3%
10๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ Thailand3%N/A
Other20%30%

We can see in the above table how global electronics trade has become more concentrated in Asia, specifically China and Taiwan. As an electronics powerhouse, 34% of the worldโ€™s electronic goods in 2021 came from China, representing $1.4 trillion in value.

Home to leading firms like TSMC, Taiwan also plays a major role due to its prowess in semiconductor manufacturingโ€”highlighting the islandโ€™s global importance.

But not all of Asia has been thriving. In 2000, Japan was a global electronics powerhouse responsible for 13% of the industry’s exports, but has seen its share shrink to 4% in 2021. The U.S. has also sheen its electronics lead shrink, with exports down from 16% of the global total in 2000 to just 4% in 2021.

Several factors have driven this shift. Instead of manufacturing electronics domestically, the U.S. has outsourced technology to countries where manufacturing, production, and labor costs are lower. However, recently, the U.S. is focusing on reshoring semiconductor production specifically given its role in national security, as seen through the $52.7 billion CHIPS Act.

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