The 10 most innovative countries, ranked by perception
But while Apple, the creator of the iPhone, is headquartered in the U.S., it doesn't necessarily mean the country is the most innovative.
Japan takes the No. 1 spot among such countries, according to data from the 2017 Best Countries rankings, a characterization based on a survey of more than 21,000 global citizens. Respondents evaluated 80 countries to determine the "most innovative."
In the survey, respondents answered how closely they related each of the 80 countries to the term "innovative." Respondents were given no further specifications of the term, so interpretation of the word "innovative" was left to survey respondents.
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Japan's innovation image was marred by Tokyo's stock market crash in the 1990s, but a resurgence of interest in "startup culture" among its corporations has reportedly shifted its technological image, according to a Stanford University expert.
South Korea and the U.S. followed Japan to round out the top three. Croatia, by contrast, ranked last.
Michael Sekora, a top technology adviser during the Reagan administration, suggested in 2015 that Japan unequivocally leads the world in serious technology, not the U.S. or any other country commonly thought of as "advanced."
"Those who think that America is doing better than Japan view things solely in financial terms," Sekora told Forbes at the time. "That is at best a very limited view and they are not looking at the substance of economic competition. What matters ultimately is technology. Japan has continued to perform superlatively on that measure. America's performance has been disastrous."
Japan contributes a number of multinational companies to the competitive global electronics landscape, including well-known corporations like Sony and Toshiba.
Here's a look at the 10 Most Innovative Countries, ranked by perception:
Overall Best Country Rank
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