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Web Index


World Wide Web Foundation

Stated Purpose: 

To measure the growth, utility and impact of the web on people and nations.

Area of Governance: 
Funding Source: 


Current usage: 

Used as an advocacy tool to highlight the possibilites of the web and the index is cited in international media.

Type of data used: 

It relies on both primary data, based on expert surveys, and secondary data pulled from existing sources. A full list of secondary data providers can be found on the Web Index's page


Country Coverage: 61 developed and developing countries
Year Coverage: 2012 - present (updated annually)

Contact details: 

World Wide Web Foundation  
c/o Lenz & Staehelin Route de Chêne 30
1211 Geneva 17


The Web Index is a composite measure that summarizes in a single (average) number the impact and value derived from the Web in various countries. There are serious challenges when attempting to measure and quantify some of the dimensions the Index covers (e.g. the social and political), and suitable proxies are used instead. The Index uses three sets of indicators for the raking, which again are divided into 85 sub-indicators:

  • Web readiness: The Index examines the quality and extent of Communications Infrastructure (facilitating connectivity to the Web) and Institutional Infrastructure (policies regulating Web access and skill and educational levels enabling the full benefit of the Web).
  • Web use: The Index looks both at Web usage within countries (such as the percentage of individuals who use the Internet) and the content available to these Web users.
  • The impact of the Web: The Index uses social, economic and political indicators to evaluate the impact of the Web on these dimensions. This includes measures of social networks, business internet use and e-participation.

The data and methodology used to produce the Index have been published openly to ensure full transparency and can be used by others to undertake their own research. The full methodology used to compute the Index is available here.

Format of results: 

The countries are ranked on a 1 - 61 scale, the rank of a country is decided by its score in the different categories using a 0-100 point scale. 

Valid Use: 

Multilateral organisations / donors can use the index to identify investment areas and program interventions to deliver benefits more effectively. NGOs can use the Index and its rankings in their discussions with policymakers to make a stronger case for government support for a particular project in that field.

Invalid Use: 

Limited time scope as 2012 is the first year the index was published, thus at the current stage it does not allow for comparisons of trends over time and the benchmarking of performance across countries, continuously improving our understanding of the Web’s value for humanity.


The index uses composite indicator, thus some of the choices run the risk of beingnormative and subjective, driven by developers’ and experts’ opinion.

Example results: