In the 2020 Digital Quality of Life index, Ireland has been surpassed by Norway, Switzerland, the UK and more in a number of areas.
A new survey shows that out of 85 countries, Ireland ranks 28th in the world for digital quality of life. The 2020 Digital Quality of Life (DQL) index is based on information provided by the United Nations, the World Bank, Freedom House, the International Communications Union and other public data sources.
Covering 81pc of the global population, or 6.3bn people, the study looked at a number of areas including e-security, electronic infrastructure, internet quality and the impact of Covid-19. Ireland ranked in the top 20 countries for e-security, landing at 18th.
However, it ranked 28th for overall digital quality of life, putting it behind countries with a similar GDP per capita, such as Norway (fifth place), the UK (seventh place) and Switzerland (15th place).
Scandinavian countries in general excelled in offering “high quality digital wellbeing” to citizens, according to the DQL index.
Of the top 10 countries for digital quality of life, seven are based in Europe with Denmark scooping first place.
Outside Europe, Canada was found to have the highest digital quality of life in the Americas and Japan came in first in Asia. In Africa, the highest digital quality of life was reported in South Africa while in Oceania, New Zealand “outperformed” Australia in a number of categories.
Digital quality of life in different countries
According to the index, the Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted internet stability across the globe. Of 85 countries, it said, 49 experienced drops in mobile and 44 in broadband speeds due to the shift to working from home.
It also found that people in three-quarters of the countries involved in the study must work more than the global average to afford internet, representing regional inequality in internet affordability.
E-security, e-infrastructure and e-government were found to have a more significant link to digital quality of life than GDP per capita across countries.
Singapore was listed as the country with the fastest and most stable internet in the world, followed by Sweden and the Netherlands. Israel, Canada and Azerbaijan were found to have the most affordable internet.
The UK, France and Lithuania reportedly have superior e-security levels, while Singapore, the UK and the US are all leading the way in e-governance.
Finally, in terms of electronic infrastructure, United Arab Emirates, Sweden and Denmark were ranked highest. Overall however, none of the countries made it to the top three in all of the categories.
The research was carried out by privacy protection company Surfshark. Its head of digital quality of life research, Dom Dimas, highlighted the correlation between digital advancement and citizen wellbeing.
“Any country’s digital advancement and people’s online experiences have a tangible relation to its economic potential and population’s overall wellbeing,” Dimas said.