DQL 2020

Delivering on the previous year’s interest, Surfshark’s research team introduces a second edition of the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL). The study on the quality of people’s digital wellbeing around the world has been upgraded both qualitatively and quantitatively. The second iteration of the DQL index includes twelve factors (vs. eight in 2019) that define people’s digital experiences grouped into five core pillars. This year, the study covers the situation in 85 countries (vs. 65 last year), involving 6.3 billion people or 81% of the global population.

Check the Digital Quality of Life rankings 2020

DQL 2020

Seven out of ten countries where people enjoy the highest quality of their digital lives are in Europe, with Denmark taking the leading position globally. If looking regionally, Canada (3rd) takes the leading place in the Americas, Israel (8th) and Japan (9th) shine from the crowd in the Middle East and Asia, South Africa (59th) leads in the continent of Africa, and New Zealand (17th) stands out in Oceania.

This year, you can check any country’s ranking and compare it with the others using a new interactive map. Also, a tool powering the map allows you to download the generated country reports and other research material.

Digital Quality of Life index 2020

In addition to the interactive tool, the DQL 2020 provides insights into the recent global topicalities, such as the COVID-19’s impact on internet stability (mobile and broadband). This year’s research provides findings on the macro level as well as looks into regional trends and country specifics.

The five-pillar research design

The DQL Index 2020 is based on the five core pillars that define the digital quality of life: internet affordability (mobile and broadband), internet quality (mobile and broadband), electronic government availability and advancement, electronic infrastructure development, and the state of electronic security.

Each of the five pillars includes other factors that define them. There are twelve such factors. For instance, the internet quality pillar consists of internet download speed results and the stability of its connectivity during unanticipated shocks (in this case, moving to work from home setting during the COVID-19 outbreak).

The five-pillar research design allows us to eliminate the subjectivity factor from the study and enables it to become comparable. Also, it acts as a safeguard against data fluctuations.

Key global findings of the DQL Index 2020:

  • The COVID-19 outbreak had a significant impact on internet stability. 49 of 85 countries experienced drops in mobile and 44 in broadband speed due to the WFH setting.
  • High inequality in affordability: people in 75% of the researched countries have to work more than the global average to afford the internet.
  • E-security, e-infrastructure, and e-government have a more significant correlation with the digital quality of life than GDP per capita.

For the in-depth analysis, check the Digital Quality of Life report 2020.

The Digital Quality of Life 2020 study is based on information provided by the United Nations, the World Bank, Freedom House, the International Communications Union, and other public data sources.