SINGAPORE: Hong Kong continues to have the most connected population in the world, again placing the territory ahead of North America and other highly digital societies, a new report has shown.

The latest Connected Consumer Index from research firm GfK ranked the digital connectivity of consumers in 78 countries and eight regions around the world.

It assessed 11 device types – smartphone, tablet, mobile PC, desktop PC, wearables, smart TV, TV set-top box, videogame console, e-reader, connected car and smart home – with data weighted for usage.

Hong Kong emerged as having by far the most connected population with an index score of 1,486, followed by North America (1,062), the United Arab Emirates (995), Norway (988) and Germany (940).

Turning to Asia-Pacific, the index judged Singapore (801) and Australia (741) to have the second and third most connected populations in the region – positions they held in 2015, but ranking on the global index at just 13th and 17th respectively.

Vietnam climbed two places, from 61 in 2015 to 59 this year, but all other APAC markets either remained in the same position or declined in the rankings.

Significantly, Japan fell by 10 spots to rank 30th globally and sixth in GfK's regional index. This meant Japan has been overtaken by Taiwan, which is now the fifth most connected society in APAC.

The full rankings for Asia-Pacific are: Hong Kong (#1), Singapore (#2), Australia (#3), New Zealand (#4), Taiwan (#5), Japan (#6), South Korea (#7), Malaysia (#8), Thailand (#9), Vietnam (#10), Indonesia (#11), Philippines (#12), Cambodia (#13), Bangladesh (#14) and India (#15).

Commenting on the findings, Stanley Kee, GfK's managing director for Southeast Asia, said: "In the emerging APAC region, the high level of smartphone adoption has been the key driver propelling connectivity in the countries, as this is the primary device—and often the first device—for consumers to connect to data services."

He added that this trend is likely to remain dominant for the next two to three years as smartphones become more affordable and within reach of a growing number of consumers, who will be able to connect with a personal device for the first time.

Meanwhile, for developed markets like Hong Kong and Singapore, Kee expected wearables, connected cars and smart home technology to offer opportunities.

Data sourced from GfK; additional content by Warc staff