Pakistan has been ranked 76th out of 100 countries on the inclusive internet index 2020 released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). In South Asia, Pakistan ranked the lowest, India at 40th, Sri Lanka at 56 and Bangladesh on the 70th spot.
The 'Inclusive Internet Index' benchmarks countries on the internet's availability, affordability, relevance and the readiness of people to use it. The annual report is commissioned by Facebook.
In its fourth year, the index covered 100 countries, representing 91pc of the world's population and 96pc of global GDP. On a scale of one (best) to 100 (worst), Pakistan stood at the 76th place out of the total countries surveyed.
"Notable among its weaknesses is by far the largest gender gaps in the index, in both mobile and internet access. Low levels of digital literacy and relatively poor network quality are major impediments to internet inclusion," the EIU said.
Among the four dimensions considered for the ranking -- availability, affordability, relevance and readiness -- Pakistan showed poor performance in all areas, the worst being in the availability category.
In terms of availability -- a category that examines the quality and breadth of available infrastructure required for access and levels of internet usage -- Pakistan ranked 86th out of 100.
The country fared relatively better on affordability (57th) that is described as the cost of access relative to income and the level of competition in the internet marketplace.
In terms of readiness -- measured on the basis of access to internet, including skills, cultural acceptance, and supporting policy -- the country ranked 64th. Finally, Pakistan stood 71st on relevance, which is the existence and extent of local language content and relevant content.
The first country ranked in this year's index is Sweden, followed by New Zealand and the US. Australia and Denmark both ranked fourth, followed by South Korea, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Spain.
Among the global worst are Burandi at 100th, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi and Burkina Faso.