Although digitalization is spreading throughout the world, it is not the same everywhere. A global survey on the quality of digital well-being in 85 countries (81% of the world’s population) reveals which countries are benefiting most.
On average, each Internet user spends 6 hours and 43 minutes a day connected to the network, according to a study conducted by Hootsuite and We Are Social for Digital 2020. However, not all users access the Internet or enjoy its use under the same conditions.
To find out about this well-being, one must look at the digital quality of life index that Surfshark has carried out in 85 countries, taking into account five factors: Internet affordability, Internet quality, infrastructure, electronic security and e-government.
According to this study of Surfshark, the Scandinavian countries are the most outstanding when it comes to providing a high quality digital welfare to its citizens. Seven of the ten countries with the highest level of digital quality of life are in Europe, which reflects a strong development in most aspects that influence the quality of life of people in the Old Continent. The classification is led by Denmark and followed by Sweden and Canada.
In terms of surprises, 13 countries (Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Uruguay) out of 85 exceed the expected quality of digital life by outperforming others in providing higher levels of electronic security as well as more affordable Internet connectivity.
If we look at those with lower than expected quality, three Middle Eastern countries stand out for their low performance: Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. These, with a relatively high GDP per capita have a lower performance in providing better digital well-being to their citizens due to the low levels of Internet quality and electronic security.
The affordability of the Internet plays an important role in ensuring accessibility, but has a significantly lower correlation with the index than the other pillars. For example, the Internet is less affordable in some southern or eastern European countries, but people still enjoy an above-average quality of digital life. Interestingly, affordability does not depend on either the quality of connectivity or the level of development of the electronic infrastructure.
Worldwide, on average, a person has to work 3 hours 48 minutes to pay for the cheapest broadband Internet connection, while the average working time required to pay for the cheapest 1 GB of mobile data is 10 minutes.