August 13, 2020 — According to the 2020 DQL (digital quality of life) index, Croatia ranks 34 among 85 countries worldwide. Surfshark, an international company-platform publishes the index every year.
Surfshark (a privacy company) publishes the DQL index based on their global research. They evaluate the quality and availability of the Internet, security, government e-services and e-infrastructure. Croatia based Večernji list reports that researchers compared digital services in 85 countries. These countries account for 81 percent of the population, or about 6.3 billion people.
Their research compiles data from world organizations including the UN, the World Bank, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and others.
Seven of Top Ten Digital Countries in Europe, Scandinavia Has Top Two
The survey found that seven of the ten countries with the highest digital quality of life are in Europe. Denmark and Sweden rank among the top two countries in the world. Canada is third, or the best on the American continent, while Japan leads in Asia. South Africa leads in Africa. Finally, New Zealand tops rankings in Oceania and surpasses Australia in various digital categories.
The top 20 countries in the DQL 2020 index are: Denmark, Sweden, Canada, France, Norway, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Israel, Japan, Poland, Finland, Singapore, Estonia, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand, Spain, Australia and Italy.
Croatia ranks 34th on the index, and lags behind neighboring countries Slovenia and Hungary, which place 23rd and 25th respectively. However, researchers point out that Croatia is among the 13 “surprising” countries because the country exceeds expectations. They also point out that Croatia provides higher levels of e-security and more accessible Internet than expected given the GDP.
Surfshark: Croatia Among 13 ‘Surprise’ Countries, E-Security Beats US
The surprise group of countries includes Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, China, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Uruguay. In contrast, three very rich countries in the Middle East; Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, rank poorly due to low levels of Internet and e-security.
Surfshark also notes that Croatian e-security surpassed the US. They also point out that Croatia ranks better globally than Japan, New Zealand and Canada within this parameter (11th place).
The research team emphasizes that Croatia has one of the fastest mobile internet networks in the world, ranking 9th. Nevertheless, mobile and broadband internet stability yield mediocre results in Croatia. That has had a significant impact on the overall internet quality rank.
The researchers also considered the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Internet quality and safety. They emphasize that slightly more than half of the 85 countries recorded a decline in mobile and broadband speeds.
Country GDP Does Not Dictate Digital Quality of Life
Overall, they note the great inequality of internet availability throughout the world. To address this disparity, up to 75 percent of the surveyed countries would have to provide Internet to their citizens. Interestingly enough, the quality of e-security and e-infrastructure does not often correlate with GDP.
On the other hand, some Arab countries stand out. Singapore, Sweden and the Netherlands are among countries with the highest quality of internet services. However, when researchers evaluated mobile and broadband networks together — Israel, Canada and Azerbaijan came out on top.