Global key insights of DQL 2022

How is your country doing in the Digital Quality of Life Index?

DQL world map

The map shows Digital Quality of Life Index 2022 rankings.

Countries with a population of less than 1M were not included.

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Global key insights of DQL 2022

How is your country doing in the Digital Quality of Life Index?

Europe continues to lead in digital quality of life.

7 out of 10 countries with the highest DQL are in Europe with only 18 of the top 50 countries located outside.

  1. Flag / IL Created with Sketch. Israel
  2. Flag / DK Created with Sketch. Denmark
  3. Flag / DE Created with Sketch. Germany
  4. Flag / FR Created with Sketch. France
  5. Flag / SE Created with Sketch. Sweden
  1. Flag / NL Created with Sketch. Netherlands
  2. Flag / FI Created with Sketch. Finland
  3. Flag / JP Created with Sketch. Japan
  4. Flag / GB Created with Sketch. United Kingdom
  5. Flag / KR Created with Sketch. South Korea
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Globally the internet is less affordable.

Comparing countries included in last year's index, people have to work slightly more (6 min) to afford fixed broadband internet in 2022. While mobile internet is more affordable this year, people have to work just under 2 minutes less than they did in 2021. The same trend was observed last year.

People have to work
2% 6 min
more in 2022
to afford broadband internet
People have to work
15% 2 min
less in 2022
to afford mobile internet
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Investing into electronic infrastructure (0.92 correlation) and electronic government (0.92 correlation) has contributed to people’s digital wellbeing the most.

In contrast, internet affordability revealed itself as the least important factor in the entire DQL (0.58 correlation).

Investing into electronic infrastructure and electronic government contributes to people’s digital wellbeing the most
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Money doesn’t always buy digital happiness:

  • GDP per capita doesn’t necessarily determine a country’s e-infrastructure quality.
Money doesn’t always buy digital happiness
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  • GDP per capita isn’t the core driving factor for e-security.
  • Internet usage drives e-government’s development more than GDP per capita.
  • *GDP per capita measures the monetary value of final goods and services produced in a country per person in a given year and is used to indicate wealth and prosperity.

Although GDP per capita has a strong correlation with the DQL, there are countries that have better digital quality of life with lower GDP per capita than expected.

Out of 117 countries, 17 exceeded the expected digital quality of life by providing higher levels of e-security and e-infrastructure, and e-government. They include Ukraine, Armenia, Brazil, Thailand, Serbia, Argentina, Turkey, Bulgaria, Malaysia, Russia, China, Romania, Chile, Uruguay, Croatia, Poland, and Hungary.

All three of these pillars have a more significant correlation with the DQL than GDP per capita. This proves the potential to level up the global digital wellbeing with lower resources and more focused strategic planning.

Countries outperforming others in providing higher levels of e-security and e-infrastructure
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Internet affordability key insights

Time of work required to afford the cheapest mobile internet + Time of work required to afford the cheapest broadband internet

Most and least affordable internet

  1. Flag / IL Created with Sketch. Israel
  2. Flag / AM Created with Sketch. Armenia
  3. Flag / DE Created with Sketch. Germany
  4. Flag / SG Created with Sketch. Singapore
  5. Flag / JP Created with Sketch. Japan
  1. Flag / CI Created with Sketch. Ivory Coast
  2. Flag / UG Created with Sketch. Uganda
  3. Flag / ML Created with Sketch. Mali
  4. Flag / NG Created with Sketch. Nigeria
  5. Flag / GH Created with Sketch. Cameroon
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On average, fixed broadband is significantly less affordable than mobile internet

  • The cheapest fixed broadband internet costs around 6.5 hours of work per month.
  • The cheapest mobile internet costs around 13 minutes of work per month.
The cheapest broadband
internet costs
6.5 hours
of work per month
The cheapest mobile
internet costs
13 minutes
of work per month
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The world’s poorest countries pay the most for bad quality internet

Nearly half of the countries examined in the DQL have lower than global average internet affordability and internet quality. The average GDP per capita in these countries is only about a third of the global GDP average (19,175 USD).

The poorest world’s countries pay the most for bad quality internet
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Some people have to work flat out for two weeks just to afford the internet

The Ivory Coast has the least affordable fixed internet of any country in the world. Here citizens have to work 10 times more (65h 33min) than the global average (6h 31min) to afford a monthly subscription. In Botswana, the country with the least affordable mobile internet, one has to work 12 times longer (2h 43min) than the global average (13min) to afford 1GB of data.

People in some countries require a week’s worth of work to afford the internet
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Internet quality key insights

Sum of mobile and broadband speeds, their stability, and growth indices.

Best and worst quality internet

  1. Flag / CL Created with Sketch. Chile
  2. Flag / DK Created with Sketch. Denmark
  3. Flag / AE Created with Sketch. U.A.E.
  4. Flag / KR Created with Sketch. South Korea
  5. Flag / SG Created with Sketch. Singapore
  1. Flag / CM Created with Sketch. Cameroon
  2. Flag / ZM Created with Sketch. Zambia
  3. Flag / ZW Created with Sketch. Zimbabwe
  4. Flag / MZ Created with Sketch. Mozambique
  5. Flag / MU Created with Sketch. Mauritius
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Mobile internet is generally less stable than fixed internet.

  • 7 out of 10 countries enjoy stable fixed internet. However, only 5 out of 10 countries can say the same for mobile data.
  • Between February and March, Ukraine saw a 28% drop in mobile internet speed and a 19% drop in fixed internet speed due to the Russian invasion. Even though the country managed to partially recover its internet speeds (by more than 10%), the internet is still slower (10-17%) than it was before the war.
Mobile internet is generally less stable than broadband
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There is a major divide between countries at the top and the bottom in terms of internet quality.

For instance, Yemen's mobile internet speed (13Mbps) is only 5% of the United Arab Emirates (248Mbps). There is an even larger inequality in fixed internet speeds with Yemen’s 8Mbps performing at only 3% compared to Singapore’s 261Mbps.

There is a wide internet speed gap between countries at the top and the bottom of the internet quality
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Singapore and the UAE have the fastest internet for the second year running.

The UAE has exceptionally fast mobile internet that almost doubled in speed compared to last year. Its yearly average speed (248Mbps) is only 5% slower than that of Singapore's fixed broadband internet speed. Singapore still has the fastest fixed broadband internet and steady growth, but in a few months’ time, Chile might surpass them and reach 300Mbp.

Singapore has the fastest broadband internet
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Electronic infrastructure key insights

Active internet users (per 100 inhabitants) + Network Readiness Index

Most and least developed e-infrastructure

  1. Flag / DK Created with Sketch. Denmark
  2. Flag / SE Created with Sketch. Sweden
  3. Flag / NL Created with Sketch. Netherlands
  4. Flag / US Created with Sketch. United States
  5. Flag / NO Created with Sketch. Norway
  1. Flag / CD Created with Sketch. Congo DR
  2. Flag / YE Created with Sketch. Yemen
  3. Flag / ET Created with Sketch. Ethiopia
  4. Flag / MZ Created with Sketch. Mozambique
  5. Flag / AO Created with Sketch. Angola
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GDP is less important for the development of e-infrastructure

26 countries (22.2% of the sample) examined in the DQL index have a lower than average GDP but higher than average e-infrastructure.

  • 10 countries are from Asia (29% of all analyzed Asian countries)
  • 9 are from Europe (24%)
  • 5 are from South America (56%)
  • 1 is from North America (9%) and 1 is from Africa (4%).

Economic wealth determines e-infrastructure growth, but only up to a point

The impact that GDP per capita has on e-infrastructure is significant when GDP per capita is up to 10k USD but slows down after that. Once GDP per capita exceeds 40k USD, e-infrastructure improvement starts to weaken. This may be due to technological limitations and/or other factors having a greater impact on e-infrastructure.

Economic wealth determines e-infrastructure growth only up to a certain point
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E-infrastructure is characterized by high inequality

For instance, in the 10 highest-ranking countries in e-infrastructure, 96% of the population use the internet (internet penetration). On the other hand, less than a third (29%) of people use the internet in the 10 lowest ranking countries.

E-infrastructure is characterized by high inequality
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Electronic security key insights

Cybersecurity index + Status of personal data protection laws

Highest and lowest e-security

  1. Flag / GR Created with Sketch. Greece
  2. Flag / LT Created with Sketch. Lithuania
  3. Flag / BE Created with Sketch. Belgium
  4. Flag / CZ Created with Sketch. Czechia
  5. Flag / DE Created with Sketch. Germany
  1. Flag / CD Created with Sketch. Congo DR
  2. Flag / YE Created with Sketch. Yemen
  3. Flag / HN Created with Sketch. Honduras
  4. Flag / TJ Created with Sketch. Tajikistan
  5. Flag / IR Created with Sketch. Iran
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For the second year in a row, the EU ranks highest for e-security

The top 10 e-security countries are all from the European Union. Their e-security average is almost twice the size of the global average. They also lead the world in cybersecurity policy implementation to better protect the population's personal data.

E-security shows the largest inequality
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Countries with better e-infrastructure are more equipped to prevent cyber threats and incidents

Countries with higher e-infrastructure can further strengthen their cybersecurity (correlation 0.76) than countries with poorer e-infrastructure.

Countries that have better e-infrastructure look after it more
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Autocratic countries don't show any intentions to protect their citizens' data

  • Only 2% of the analyzed autocratic countries have data protection levels higher than the global average (0.44).
  • Democratic countries have better than average global data protection levels (53%).
  • Democratic countries hold 0.62 in data protection levels while autocratic countries rank two times lower than the global average with 0.18.
E-security shows the largest inequality
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Electronic government key insights

Online services index + AI readiness index

Most and least developed e-government

  1. Flag / US Created with Sketch. United States
  2. Flag / SG Created with Sketch. Singapore
  3. Flag / GB Created with Sketch. United Kingdom
  4. Flag / FI Created with Sketch. Finland
  5. Flag / KR Created with Sketch. South Korea
  1. Flag / CD Created with Sketch. Congo DR
  2. Flag / YE Created with Sketch. Yemen
  3. Flag / LA Created with Sketch. Laos
  4. Flag / ZM Created with Sketch. Zambia
  5. Flag / ET Created with Sketch. Ethiopia
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Countries with the highest readiness to adopt AI technology are also ready to counter national cyber threats

18 of the top 20 countries in AI readiness criteria also have a better than average cybersecurity index. The two exceptions here are China and the U.A.E.:

  • The United Arab Emirates provides no data protection to its citizens, which increases the risk of violating personal privacy. The country also falls short in managing digital threats, according to the National Cyber Security Network.
  • China, compared to last year, has improved its National Cybersecurity Index, but still falls short in cybersecurity due to poor cybercrime prevention and a lack of cybersecurity policy development.

The US, Singapore, and the UK have the most advanced electronic government due to an especially high level of AI readiness

The US leads the e-government pillar for a second year running, while the UK lost its second place position to Singapore. Singapore jumped up 3 places in the e-government pillar by improving its readiness to implement AI in the public services sector.

The US and the UK both have exceptional quality online services
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Governments with established, easily accessible online services are better prepared to implement AI in the public services sector

There is a strong correlation (0.92) between regional averages for Online Service and AI Readiness indices. Overall, Northern America leads in the e-government pillar with a 43% higher regional index than the average value (0.64).

Internet use drives e-government development more than the wealth of a country
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Global rank
Global ranking out of 117 countries
Ranking index
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