The first-ever Digital Quality of Life (DQL) research indexed 65 countries, covering a population of over 5.5 billion people was carried out by privacy company Surfshark. Lithuania ranked 23rd in the final index and was the best performer among the new European Union member states.
The Digital Quality of Life index compares countries by various digital factors such as the internet speed, country’s cybersecurity, the availability of e-government services and highlights gaps between people’s online experiences in multiple societies. Australia is the country with the highest Digital Quality of Life index score in 2019, followed by France and Singapore.
“Today, our lives are profoundly affected by our digital well-being as over half of the entire population is using the internet. We wanted to understand what matters most for people in the digital sphere and compare digital experiences around the world,” says Goddy Ray, DQL research lead at Surfshark. “This is the first attempt to estimate the quality of our digital lives, which, we expect, will provide grounds for further discussions within the indexed countries.”
Critical findings by the Digital Quality of Life study
One of the critical global findings of the DQ study is that well-developed internet infrastructure does not necessarily guarantee high quality of digital life countries citizens as a composition of less tangible factors such as country’s cybersecurity or presence of personal data protection laws is essential to determine digital well-being.
The research concluded that none of the indexed countries crossed the threshold of 0.8000 (of 1.000), highlighting that there is room for improvement in various digital areas globally. The median value of the Digital Quality of Life index is 0.6110.
The research team analysed open-source data collected from the databases of the United Nations, the World Bank, Freedom House, the International Communications Union and other sources. The countries were ranked combining factors such as internet connection speed, affordability, cybersecurity, the availability of data protection laws, e-government services, and entertainment content availability.
Latvia ranked 39th, Estonia 28th and Poland 26th.
The final 2019 Digital Quality of Life report, as well as an interactive country comparison tool, can be found here: https://surfshark.com/dql