Finland ranks 3rd in the global index of digital quality of life 2021


The third annual edition Finland ranks third out of 110 countries in the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL). The DQL study, which covers 90% of the world’s population, is carried out by cybersecurity firm Surfshark and ranks countries based on five fundamental pillars of digital wellbeing. Finland stands out on four points, in particular with regard to the affordability of the Internet (4th), e-infrastructure (7th), e-government (4th) and e-security (7th), but has a comparatively lower result for internet quality on (27.).

Overall, Finland has significantly improved its digital wellbeing compared to DQL 2020, which is from 11. The study shows that Finland has the second largest broadband internet in the world. Finns have to work 31 minutes to get the cheapest broadband internet package – that’s 1 hour 21 minutes less than in 2020.

The world’s cheapest broadband internet costs 6 hours of work per month. For comparison: Danes and Swedes have to work three times more to pay for broadband internet, while Norwegians work four times more. The country also has better e-security and e-government scores than Denmark, which took first place worldwide this year.

However, the research also shows that Internet quality in Finland has decreased by 18% since last year. The lowest ranking criterion is the growth in broadband speed year-on-year, the stability of the broadband Internet and the broadband speed. Even so, northern European countries, including Finland, still have a DQL higher than almost two-thirds (63%) of the world

“Digital opportunities have proven to be more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis, underscoring the importance of each country ensuring completely remote operating capacities for their economies.” explained Vytautas Kaziukonis, CEO of Surfshark. “Therefore, for the third year in a row, we are continuing research on digital quality of life, which offers a robust global outlook on how countries are digitally dominating. The index forms the basis for meaningful discussions about how digital progress is affecting a country’s prosperity and where improvements can be made. “

In total, 6 out of 10 countries with the highest values ​​are in Europe, following the trend of last year. Denmark ranks first in the DQL for the second time in a row and is closely followed by South Korea. Finland ranks 3rd, while Israel and the US round out the top 5 of 110 nations rated. The bottom 5 countries are Ethiopia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Guatemala, and Angola.

Regionally, the USA stands out as the country with the highest digital quality of life in America, while South Korea takes the leading position in Asia. Among African countries, the people of South Africa enjoy the highest quality of their digital lives, while Australia leads the way in Oceania and outperforms New Zealand in various digital areas.

Other key findings of the report are:

  • Broadband is less affordable worldwide this year. Comparing the countries included in both DQL20 and DQL21, people will have to work 11% more (25 minutes more) in 2021 to be able to afford broadband internet. However, this year people will have to work 29% less (28 minutes less) in order to be able to afford mobile internet.
  • The worst internet in the world is the least affordable. People in some countries like Nigeria, Côte D’Ivoire and Mali need about a week of work to be able to afford the internet.
  • Investing in electronic infrastructure and administration is what contributes most to people’s digital wellbeing.

DQL Research 2021 examined a total population of more than 6.9 billion people in terms of five core pillars and 14 underpinning indicators that provide a comprehensive measure. The study is based on open source information from the United Nations, the World Bank, Freedom House, the International Communications Union, and other sources.

The final report on the digital quality of life 2021 and an interactive country comparison tool can be found here:


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