For that matter Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and China are quite deep down the list too. As the United States so heavily dominates the rankings, the study is being cited as evidence that despite the growth of offshore outsourcing hubs in Asia, the United States remains the top of the knowledge-based economy.
The index uses the total population of the region as the denominator – which implies that if the population is heavily dependent on knowledge industries (IT, life sciences, manufacturing etc) then it would score high. Therefore it is quite unsurprising that countries like India and China score lower because of their larger populations, as well as the fact that only a small fraction of the population is involved in knowledge based industries. But it is a mystery why Japan and the Asian tigers score so poorly.
Europe’s position is perhaps the most revealing, for it has no region within the top 40!