ICT checkup: Has Canada’s global standing dropped since 2011?

It looks like Canada has lost some ground to global ICT competitors over the past few years.

We decided to revisit key ICT indicators from an infographic we first published in 2011, then compare them with the updated versions of those figures to chart Canada’s performance since then. (It’s pertinent to note that we weren’t able to find updated statistics for all the of the data in the 2011 infographic, but we’ve provided updated ones wherever possible.)

Where we did well

First, the good news. Canada’s ICT sector output has continued to outpace the growth of Canada’s GDP output overall, just as it did back in 2011. The latest available figures from Industry Canada show ICT output reached 117.1 on the index in the third quarter of 2014, surpassing the 112.3 number reached by overall GDP in the same quarter.

Real_GDP_ICT_Sector_Cdn_Econ-Q3_2014
The output of Canada’s ICT sector has continued to outpace overall GDP growth. (Source: Industry Canada)

Canada has also posted positive numbers for ICT adoption since the 2011 infographic. According to figures from the United Nations agency ITU, Canada’s mobile cellular subscriptions have grown from 23.8 million in 2009 to 29.5 million in 2014. Fixed broadband Internet subscriptions grew as well, from 10.3 million in 2009 to 12.4 million in 2014.

Canada saw additional improvement in KPMG’s total tax index, which ranks the most favorable corporate tax rates for ICT companies around the world. We took the top spot among ten countries in 2014, up from second place back in 2010.

Not all good news

It wasn’t all good news, however. Canada fell to eleventh place in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2014 Networked Readiness Index, down from eighth spot in 2009.

Although we noted above that Canada saw healthy increases in mobile and broadband subscriptions, updated WEF data suggests our standing among other nations has declined in those same categories between 2009 and 2014. We fell from tenth to twelfth place in terms of broadband Internet subscribers, from eleventh to thirteenth place in Internet users and from ninety-fifth to one hundred and fourteenth in mobile subscriptions.

The overall takeaway? While Canada’s ICT sector enjoyed a solid lead among many other nations on the planet about five years ago, the rest of the world has quickly played catch up and continues to gain ground on us.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Christine Wong
Christine Wonghttp://www.itbusiness.ca
Christine Wong has been an on-air reporter for a national daily show on Rogers TV and at High Tech TV, a weekly news magazine on CTV's Ottawa affiliate. She was also an associate producer at Report On Business Television (now called BNN) and CBC's The Hour With George Stroumboulopoulos. As an associate producer at Slice TV, she helped launch two national daily talk shows, The Mom Show and Three Takes. Recently, she was a Staff Writer at ITBusiness.ca and is now a freelance contributor.

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