According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), in 2018, the United States led in global competitiveness. For 2019, the U.S. was number two (behind only Singapore). Due to the impact of COVID-19, in 2020, the WEF did no ranking. But we know that the United States is lagging in global innovativeness. Please note that competitiveness and innovativeness do not measure the same attributes.
2021 Bloomberg Ranking: United States Is Lagging in Global Innovativeness
With regard to global competitiveness, the World Competitiveness Center (WCC) “assesses and ranks how countries and enterprises manage the totality of their competencies to achieve increased prosperity.” In terms of global innovativeness, the WCC “looks at the elements of national economies that go into enabling innovative activities. Such as research and development. While also looking at the results of these activities, for example creative goods and services.”
Cancer research, meat alternatives, and smart home technologies are among the major developments of our time. But which countries are world leaders in research and development, patent activity, high-tech density, and everything that comes with fostering innovation? A Bloomberg ranking released on February 3, 2021 shows the most innovative countries by index value. South Korea ranked highest in 2021, after Germany won the ranking in 2020. The East Asian country had been at the helm of the list also from 2014 to 2019. The U.S. ranked 11th, losing three ranks in two years, and exited the top 10 for the first time.
The ranking includes factors such as research and development expenditures, the number of domestic patent applications, and the number of domestic public high-tech companies. South Korea scored 90.49 out of 100 possible points, as our chart shows. The Netherlands and Denmark were the countries most improved among the top 10, climbing up four and two ranks, respectively.
Because the U.S. ranks 11th, it does not appear in the following Statista infographic.