• Jonathon Allen, CFP®

Which country is the most innovative?

The silver lining of the pandemic may be found in innovation, which has flourished as companies, economies and countries have adapted to difficult circumstances.

The Global Innovation Index (GII) tracks 80 indicators that inform innovation. The indicators are grouped into seven categories:

  • Institutions: Political, regulatory and business environments.

  • Human capital and research: Education and research and development.

  • Infrastructure: Information and communication technologies, general infrastructure and ecological sustainability.

  • Market sophistication: Credit, investment, trade, diversification and market scale.

  • Business sophistication: Knowledge workers, innovation linkages and knowledge absorption.

  • Knowledge and technology outputs: Knowledge creation, impact and diffusion.

  • Creative outputs: Intangible assets, creative goods and services, and online creativity.

In 2021, the top-three innovative countries by income group were:

High-income countries

No. 1. Switzerland, with strength in knowledge and technology outputs, infrastructure and creative outputs.

No. 2. Sweden, with strength in business sophistication, human capital and research, and knowledge and technology outputs.

No. 3. United States, with strength in knowledge and technology outputs and market and business sophistication

Upper-middle income countries

No. 1. China, with strength in knowledge and technology outputs and business sophistication.

No. 2. Bulgaria, with strength in knowledge and technology and creative outputs.

No. 3. Malaysia, with strength in knowledge and technology outputs and market sophistication.

Lower-middle income countries

No. 1. Vietnam, with strength in market sophistication and creative outputs.

No. 2. India, with strength in knowledge and technology outputs and market sophistication.

No. 3. Ukraine, with strength in knowledge and technology outputs and human capital and research.

Low-income countries

No. 1. Rwanda, with strength in institutions and business sophistication.

No. 2. Tajikistan, with strength in knowledge and technology outputs and market sophistication.

No. 3. Malawi, with strength in knowledge and technology outputs and market sophistication.

Switzerland, Sweden, the United States, the United Kingdom and South Korea were the most innovative countries in the world, overall. China was the only middle-income economy among the top 30 most innovative economies in the world.