U.S. falls to fifth in IT rankings

The United States fell from third to fifth in the World Economic Forum's 2009-2010 information technology rankings, released on Thursday.

It currently trails Sweden, Singapore, Denmark and Switzerland in the group's annual comparison of states' IT venture capital, technology rules and standards and broadband availability, among other factors (view the full report in .pdf here).

Broken down, the study confirms much of what President Barack Obama and his tech experts at the White House have long emphasized: U.S. math and science education are lagging, while government services have yet to adopt the most current and effective information technology practices.

The United States ranked somewhat dismally in both areas, typically falling into the double digits behind countries in Europe. But it did perform strongly in other measures of IT use and penetration, including the "extent of business Internet use" (2nd), online political participation (6th), "quality of scientific research institutions" (2nd) and "university-industry collaboration" in research and development projects (1st).