updated 3/10/2005 9:30:07 PM ET 2005-03-11T02:30:07

The United States is no longer No. 1 in making the best use of information and communications technology, a new study says. It dropped to fifth place this year and Singapore is now tops.

Singapore's ranking in the so-called "networked readiness index" was based on several factors, including quality of math and science education and low prices for telephone and Internet services, said the World Economic Forum report.

"Singapore's remarkable performance is a consequence of the government's consistent and continuous efforts" to foster the technology, the report said.

Augusto Lopez-Claros, co-editor of the report, praised Singapore for its ability "to make, in a relatively short period of time, enormous progress in putting (the technology) at the service of improved living standards."

The United States' drop from first place last year "is less due to actual erosion in performance" than to the improvement of other countries, the report said.

Iceland, in 10th place last year, moved up to second place. Finland held onto third, and Denmark rose to fourth from fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 in the fifth annual report were Sweden, Hong Kong, Japan, Switzerland and Canada.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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