The US is still the most highly educated nation in the world, but that’s no longer the case.
A new study by Oxford Economics found that the US has become a nation of digital natives, and that the gap between the digital natives and their peers is widening.
The research, by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, shows that in 2014, the US ranked sixth in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Digital natives index, which ranks the most advanced countries according to their digital prowess.
That’s up from fourth in 2012, the year after the WEF’s inaugural ranking.
The data was taken from the 2016 Global Digital Trends Index (GDTI), which includes data on the number of digital jobs, and the share of people in each country that use the internet.
It shows that the number in the United States has risen from 24% in 2015 to 29% in 2020, and now sits at 32%.
The rise in digital natives is even more pronounced in India.
In the last decade, the number has risen in each of the three countries, but India remains the world’s most highly tech-dependent country, according to the GDTI.
The rise in the share in India of digital native citizens, which Saez defines as people with at least two years of digital education, has been dramatic.
The Indian economy, according the researchers, is now nearly 70% reliant on digital services, such as social media, email and cloud computing.
That means the number is likely to grow as the country’s population continues to expand and the number and size of its internet users increase.
The authors argue that the digital native population is not just a marker of high technology use in the country.
It’s also a sign that the country has become more technologically-literate.
“Digital natives are also likely to be more educated, as a result of having access to the internet at home, and hence more highly educated, and therefore more likely to participate in global political and economic activities,” they write.
“It is also a marker that this is not a sign of a decline in technological development but rather the rapid rise of this capability and the widening of the digital divide.”
While the growth of digital-native populations is still slow, the authors note that it’s already happened in the past few years.
The number of internet users in India has grown by about 100 million in the last five years, from around 11 million in 2013 to around 20 million in 2020.
In the US, the GNTI says that in 2020 there were 11.3 million internet users, a rate of growth of roughly 3% per year.
Meanwhile, the rate of internet use in India, however, was only about 1% that year, compared with 6.7% in the UK.
In 2020, India accounted for 4.6% of the world total of internet user, while the US accounted for 13.1% of that total.
While India is a small and poorer country compared to the United Kingdom and the US when it comes to internet usage, it still accounts for a higher proportion of internet traffic in the region, the researchers found.
According to the data, the share that uses the internet is about four times that of the UK, which accounts for about 7% of internet-using households, compared to less than 1% for the US.
Overall, the digital-naturedness of India is growing, the report found.
But it is also changing.
“The growth of internet usage in India is slowing down, and its growth rate has fallen in recent years, to levels comparable to those of the US,” the authors write.