The third annual edition of the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) ranks Georgia 63rd among 110 countries. Covering 90% of the global population, the DQL study is conducted by the cybersecurity company Surfshark and evaluates countries based on a set of five fundamental digital wellbeing pillars. Georgia ranks its highest in e-security (42nd), but shows comparatively lower results in internet affordability (60th), internet quality (75th), e-infrastructure (61st) and e-government (79th).
Overall, Georgia has demonstrated a notable drop compared to the DQL Index 2020, falling from 63rd to 53rd place. However, the country still surpasses other countries regionally, among them Armenia, Jordan, and Azerbaijan.
Georgia shows strong e-security scores, ranking 42nd – 10% better than the global average. However, the study indicates that Georgia’s digital quality of life has room to improve, especially in internet quality and e-government. The country’s broadband speeds rank on the lower end (26.43 Mbps), while the mobile broadband connection is slightly higher (33.03 Mbps), ranking 59th. Additionally, internet broadband connection growth year-on-year is one the lowest among all indexed countries, ranking only 106th out of 110.
In terms of internet affordability, the researchers found that people in Georgia have to work almost 11 minutes for 1GB of the cheapest mobile data.
“Digital opportunities have proved to be more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis, stressing the importance for every country to ensure fully remote operational capacities for their economies,” explains Vytautas Kaziukonis, CEO of Surfshark. “That’s why, for the third year in a row, we continue the Digital Quality of Life research, which provides a robust global outlook into how countries excel digitally. The index sets the basis for meaningful discussions about how digital advancement impacts a country’s prosperity and where improvements can be made.”
In an all-around picture, 6 out of 10 countries holding the highest scores are located in Europe, following last year’s trend. Denmark ranks 1st in DQL for the second year in a row and is closely followed by South Korea. Finland ranks 3rd, while Israel and the US round out the top five of 110 nations that were evaluated. The bottom 5 countries are Ethiopia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Guatemala, and Angola.
Regionally, the US stands out as a country with the highest digital quality of life in the Americas, while South Korea takes the leading position in Asia. Among countries in Africa, people in South Africa enjoy the highest quality of digital life, whereas Australia leads in Oceania, outperforming New Zealand in various digital areas.
Other significant findings of the report include:
• Broadband is globally less affordable this year. Comparing countries included in both DQL20 and DQL21, people have to work 11% more (25 min more) to afford broadband internet in 2021. However, people have to work 29% less (28 min less) to afford mobile internet this year.
• The world’s worst internet is the least affordable. People in some countries, such as Nigeria, Côte D’Ivoire and Mali, require approximately a week’s worth of work to afford the internet.
• Investing in electronic infrastructure and electronic government contributes to people’s digital wellbeing the most.
The 2021 DQL research 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 provided by the United Nations, the World Bank, Freedom House, the International Communications Union, and other sources.
The final 2021 Digital Quality of Life report and an interactive country comparison tool can be found here: https://www.surfshark.com/dql2021.