Most Innovative Countries 2022

map placeholder

Innovation is key for a country to remain competitive on the global stage. A country’s innovation includes its government, fiscal policies, education policies, and innovation environment (innovation inputs) as well as its patents, technology, business performance, and economic growth (innovation outputs). Innovation is a major factor in determining which countries are the most technologically advanced countries in the world. Which countries are the most innovative? The annual Bloomberg Innovation Index analyzes 60 nations using dozens of criteria grouped into seven metrics: research and development, gross value added by manufacturing, productivity, high-tech company density, researcher concentration, tertiary efficiency, and patent activity. While the Bloomberg analysis is ostensibly focused upon the innovation of a nation's economy, the categories are so broad and comprehensive—and economies are so deeply entwined in most other aspects of life—that the analysis is often interpreted as a measure of not merely economic innovation, but innovation as a whole.

Top 10 Most Innovative Countries in the World - Bloomberg 2021

  1. South Korea
  2. Singapore
  3. Switzerland
  4. Germany
  5. Sweden
  6. Denmark
  7. Israel
  8. Finland
  9. Netherlands
  10. Austria

In the index's 2021 edition, South Korea regained the title of the nation with the most technologically advanced economy. South Korea’s best performing metric is patent activity, for which it ranked first in the world. South Korea ranked second for both research and development intensity and gross value added by manufacturing, fourth for high-tech company density, and third for researcher concentration. South Korea is home to companies such as Samsung, LG, and Hyundai.

Singapore ranked as 2021's second-most innovative country. Singapore's rise can be attributed to its rising productivity and manufacturing gains. Additionally, Singapore ranks third for gross value added by manufacturing, sixth for productivity, and fourth for patent activity. Singapore is also focused upon education, with 91.09% of eligible citizens either enrolled in or having completed some form of tertiary education in 2021.

Switzerland ranked as the third-most innovative country in the world in 2021. Switzerland ranked third for research and development, fourth for researcher concentration, and fifth for value added by manufacturing. Switzerland is among the countries with the highest spending on research and development in relation to GDP. The private sector accounts for more than two-thirds of Switzerland’s R&D expenditure.

Germany, which ranked #1 in 2020, fell to the fourth spot. Full of well-known tech companies and countless new tech start-ups, Germany ranked third for its density of high-tech companies. Germany also ranked sixth for gross value added by manufacturing, which primarily comes from its car-making industry, and 7th for R&D intensity. Germany is most known for its engineering, home to Volkswagen, Siemens, and more. Germany's government strongly supports research and development through both universities and organizations. Additionally, Germany is now a global leader in medicine, military technology, and infrastructure.

Ranking fifth overall,Sweden invested SEK 155.5 billion (US$154 billion) in R&D in 2017, which helps explain why the country achieved 2021 rankings of fourth for research and development intensity, sixth for high-tech density, and seventh for both tertiary efficiency and researcher concentration. Following Sweden is Denmark, which ranks second for researcher concentration and eighth for both R&D intensity and high-tech density. The majority of research is done in the higher education sector and expenses are mostly allocated towards health services R&D. Additionally, Denmark ranks third in the world for productivity.

Israel ranks first in the world for both R&D intensity and researcher concentration. Israel’s large pool of STEM talent, entrepreneurial talent, low costs of R&D talent have made it a competitive country in the global R&D market, with many U.S.-based clients. Israel even competes with Silicon Valley. Apple, IBM, AT&T, Samsung, GE, Paypal, Microsoft, and Motorola are only a few of the many tech giants that have an R&D presence in Israel. Finland is a jack of all trades, ranking between 10th and 17th in the world in all seven metrics. The country excels in technology and high-tech solutions. Finnish innovations include the Linux operating system and text messaging.

The Netherlands burst into the top 10 most innovative economies in 2021. But with rankings like seventh in the world in high-tech density, eighth in researcher concentration, and ninth in patent activity, it's easy to imagine the country hanging around in the top 10 for many years to come. The Netherlands is Europe's largest supplier of high-tech goods. Rounding out 2021's top 10 is Austria, which ranks sixth in the world for R&D intensity and ninth for both manufacturing value added and concentration of researchers. Austria's economy has numerous strengths, including its service, mechanical engineering, and organic farming sectors.

The United States is the eleventh-most innovative country in the world. Home to Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Tesla, Amazon, Microsoft, Intel, and countless other the United States ranks first in the world for its concentration of high-tech companies. The United States also ranks first for patent activity, becoming the leader in the protection of intellectual property. Home to world-leading technology companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft, the United States is a powerhouse in global technology. Silicon Valley inspired and produced an entire generation of software engineers and technology companies and is currently home to some of the world's biggest tech companies. The U.S. has made significant advances in space technology, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications. The U.S. also has the largest and most technologically advanced military in the world. However, the United States' scores for higher education decreased in 2020/21, particularly in the government's policies toward international students and the way universities responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, the U.S. economy fell to eleventh place.

Additional highly innovative countries include France (home of tech companies such as Dassault Systèmes, Mention, and AgoraPulse); Japan; Belgium; and China.

Most Innovative Countries 2022

Country 2021 Rank 2020 Rank Total Score R&D Intensity Manufacturing Value-added Productivity High-tech Density Tertiary Efficiency Researcher Concentration Patent Activity
South Korea1290.49223641331
Singapore2387.761736181134
Switzerland3487.63571115418
Germany4186.4576203231214
Sweden5586.394211267721
Denmark6886.128173822223
Israel7685.51301853418
Finland8784.8611121713141010
Netherlands91384.2914261472589
Austria101183.9369152316915
United States11983.599245147322
Japan121282.86573710361811
France131081.731239122262116
Belgium141480.7510231615431413
Norway151780.7154941451124
China161579.56132045917393
Ireland171679.41351212421739
United Kingdom181877.22144251742022
Australia192076.81205581610317
Italy201976.7326152821412512
Canada212275.982235212537225
Slovenia222173.641882741111627
Poland232573.3833193419283330
Russia242672.8437324120212425
New Zealand252972.5727412926401529
Czech Republic262471.551942445321926
Hungary272870.7323143224532848
Iceland282369.99164015412534
Malaysia292769.6824104627504231
Greece303068.473448432992647
Spain313367.9131333338192737
Romania323266.7257223022205040
Turkey333566.6839135035314620
Latvia343765.914946313064049
Luxembourg353165.69324511476066
Thailand364065.4236185233304535
Portugal373464.632834404932346
Estonia393663.772528195482951
Lithuania403862.744016225423455
Bulgaria414261.3447314737393650
Malta424759.5151512342243738
United Arab Emirates434458.8929362650494341
Slovakia444158.2343113553513552
Croatia454357.6838373852333854
Brazil464657.2130595432485143
South Africa475054.0644535334585728
Serbia48--53.7441385148454157
Cyprus494853.6452584236384859
India505451.7948565828565932
Argentina514551.5654424943554953
Qatar525551.1556299--525358
Saudi Arabia535350.334625395129--42
Chile545149.460524854275533
Vietnam555749.0155435940445644
Uruguay56--47.91584744--595819
Tunisia575247.7650505746544756
Ukraine585647.5459575539575236
Algeria594947.2553275654185460
Iran60--46.354554--44354445

Most Innovative Countries 2022

Sources