The U.S. rises in the rankings, too, bypassing the United Kingdom. Also: Slovakia and Switzerland gain.
The United States ranked No. 2, moving up from sixth place last year. Other countries that made big gains were Slovakia and Switzerland. And in the Asia-Pacific, Hong Kong is the leader, according to the study.
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The rankings, prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit and IBM's Institute for Business Value, is based on several factors. Essentially, a nation's e-readiness is a measure of its e-business climate, according to a statement released by IBM about the study. Factors evaluated include Internet connectivity, technology infrastructure and policy environment. Some new metrics have also been added this year, including the penetration of hot spots.
The United States ranked higher this year in part because of secure Internet server penetration and overall spending on information technology, according to the statement. Additionally, the United States experienced growth in broadband adoption.
The United States is followed in ranking by Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, while Finland and Hong Kong tied for sixth place.
Hong Kong overtook Singapore, which slid to 11th position from seventh last year.
Though South Korea has the world's most developed broadband access market, it is weak in areas such as Internet security, according to the study, and was ranked 18th.
India and China rank much lower on the 65-nation list, but the study said both are making growing contributions to the global digital economy.
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"The e-readiness rankings are very dynamic," George Pohle, of IBM's Institute for Business Value, said in a statement.
"Leadership requires continued focus, strategic planning and targeted investment, but that is only the beginning," he added. "The hard work is in using the leadership to complete a blend of public and private initiatives that yield meaningful improvements for private citizens, businesses and government. That is where the return on these investments are ultimately being achieved."