Technology is at the center of pretty much everything we do. Even if you’re an ‘off the grid’ enthusiast, it’s likely you depend on it in some way.
Medicine, communications, the economy, you name it; without technology, the world as we know it simply wouldn’t function.
But which countries lead the charge? And which are up and coming tech giants? In no particular order, here are the leading technologically advanced countries in the world (at least, according to us!).
You wouldn’t be able to respect a tech country list without Japan front and center. Despite being relatively small, this Asian island packs quite a punch. Its scientific research is second to none, making significant contributions in fields such as optics, robotics, and electronics. The country has contributed 11 Nobel Prizes in Physics, 7 in Chemistry, and 5 in Physiology or Medicine. Tech is also omnipresent in daily life. Think bullet trains, robotic technology, smart toilets (that talk!), and brands such as Canon, Nintendo, and Sony.
For the Average Joe, this may seem like a surprising entry. For those that have their finger on the tech boom pulse, not so much. Led by the emerging state of Kerala in India’s south, we’re talking the leading location for skilled IT professionals, a developing Silicon Valley in Bangalore, and huge investments from heavy hitters such as Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft.
People say that China is the next superpower. They’re wrong. The most populous country in the world is already there. Its economic advances can partially be attributed to a tech boom, with Chinese engineers and scientists paving the way for significant advances in robotics, aerospace, transport, and genetics.
You have to give props to Israel when it comes to tech. In 2017, the technology industry made up a staggering 45% of its export market. The company also has a bunch of exciting tech startups: Wix, the web development platform, Waze, the popular navigation app, and Storedot, a revolutionary battery charger.
Ever since the industrial revolution of the 19th century, the UK has been a permanent presence on the list of most technologically advanced countries. And we don’t see this changing anytime soon. The Brits can boast of several impressive achievements, including the jet engine, the discovery of hydrogen, and the original locomotive engine. They can also legitimately say they invented the Internet (don’t believe the Al Gore legend!).
Back when it was still called the USSR, Russia made historic leaps in technological achievements. The country sent the first man into space and were the first to put an object from Earth on the Moon’s surface (take that, Neil Armstrong!). It’s also maintained its reputation as a leader in heavy machinery production and its military tech, with its ICBM missiles being scarily accurate and powerful.
Another well-known haven for techies, South Korea features some of the biggest brands on the planet: LG, Samsung, and Hyundai call South Korea home. The country is known for its gigantic gaming community, with approximately a third of the population hooked on a console or computer game. The country also features the fastest internet speed in the world.
Engineering is Germany’s bread and butter. The country is known for producing some of the best engineers on the planet, with precision, detail, and a strong tradition in the field cited as the primary reasons for Germany’s long-held reputation. Brands such as VW and Siemens are internationally recognized as reliable and quality high-tech brands.
This one may be a little surprising for those not in the know, but Finland is actually ridiculously advanced when it comes to technology. It’s not just about Nokia. Despite having only just over 5 million inhabitants, this Scandinavian country features some of the most high-tech healthcare facilities on the planet. Its focus on biosciences, energy research, and environmental science have put Finland on the map in recent years.
The United States
You didn’t think we were going to forget good old USA, did you? Silicon Valley (the original) is based in California, with companies such as Google, PayPal, and Facebook calling the digital shots from its sunny climes. Other major companies such as Microsoft, Intel, and IBM also call the US home.
The country also leads the line when it comes to pharmaceuticals, defense systems, and communications. Its space program is not exactly what it used to be (having sent the first man to the Moon and all), but NASA still packs quite a punch. When it comes to the military, there’s no country on the planet that can match the tech the United States can bring to the table.
The United States has a northern neighbor that also has a claim to being one of the most technologically advanced nations. There’s more to this country than maple syrup and ice hockey. Its digital sector is enjoying massive investments from both the government and companies, with biotechnology an emerging field. STEM educational programs are also seeing impressive growth, while tech hubs in Toronto and Vancouver becoming hugely popular.
And there you have it, the 11 most advanced technological countries on the planet. Granted, the list is a little arbitrary and not quite scientific. But we think we’ve given you a good spread of tech stalwarts, developing countries that are quickly making up ground, and a few surprising names you’d probably hadn’t thought about!