If you are looking for the best digital quality of life in the world, Denmark seems to be the place to go.

Hamlet’s homeland ranked first among 110 countries based on five “pillars” of measurement: Internet affordability, Internet quality, infrastructure, security and government, according to a study released Monday by VPN provider Surfshark.

Within the pillars are 14 “indicators” that further refine the quality of life measurement. For example, there are two indicators within the infrastructure column: the number of people using the Internet and the readiness of the network.

Countries were classified based on index points with the best possible value equal to one. Denmark had the top score with 0.83, followed by South Korea (0.76), Finland (0.76), Israel (0.74), USA (0.74) and Singapore (0.72).

2021 Digital Quality of Life Index (Source: Surfshark)

“The methodology of the study seems pretty solid,” said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, a technology advisory firm in Hayward, Calif.

“Since its launch in 2019 Surfshark has improved the study, both the areas examined and the number of countries and regions covered,” he told TechNewsWorld.

early internet adapter

Roslyn Layton, senior vice president of Strand Consult, a technology consultancy in Copenhagen, Denmark, said the findings of the Surfshark study are similar to reports from the International Telecommunication Union. “Denmark consistently scores at the top,” she told TechNewsWorld.

“Denmark was an early internet adopter, and it quickly put all its government online,” explained Layton, a naturalized Danish citizen. “It created tools that allow individuals and businesses to interact with the government.”

“In the United States, there is a lot of paperwork involved when dealing with the government,” she continued. “Denmark immediately digitized it. It was a way to encourage universal adoption of the Internet.”

“As a result, government systems are very useful, integrated, seamless and secure,” she said. “That’s what’s been happening for the last 20 years.”

However, in the Surfshark study, the United States ranked first in the electronic government category, while Denmark ranked sixth.

Most and least developed countries in the e-government category

Least and least developed countries in the e-government category (Image credit: Surfshark)

Joe Kane, director of spectrum and broadband policy at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, said, “This may warrant relative to other countries, but our research has found that the US still has much to do in improving the delivery of electronic government services.” There is space.” ITIF), a science and technology think tank in Washington, DC

need more competition

Kane stressed that Denmark has some other advantages over the United States when it comes to cultivating a digital life there.

“Denmark is a rich, dense country,” he told TechNewsWorld. “This makes it relatively easy to connect entire counties at affordable prices and provide high quality government services.”

Countries with the Most and Least Affordable Internet

Denmark ranks first among the countries with the most affordable internet. At the other end of the spectrum, the five least affordable internet countries are all in the continent of Africa. (image credit: surfshark)

Layton said Denmark also has a program in place to keep the cost of network deployment down. “The permissions to create the network are streamlined,” she explained. “Providers are encouraged to compete and invest.”

This is in stark contrast to the competitive scene in the United States. “There’s no competition in a lot of places in the US, so there’s not a lot of incentive for providers to upgrade,” said Jack E. Gould, founder and principal analyst at IT consulting firm J.Gold Associates. Northborough, Mass.

“This is changing and changing quickly,” he told TechNewsWorld, “due to 5G and fixed wireless access in many regions.”

However, he said the United States could be more competitive with other countries if it had a comprehensive broadband policy. “Many European countries are making policies that say, ‘You will do this, and we will fund it.’ It benefits some countries,” he explained. “In America, it’s all about private enterprise.”

doing well despite the challenges

King said that while the US is a leading market in both technology development and products, the federal government’s business-friendly approach has resulted in wide disparities in the quality, availability and cost of the Internet. “The ‘digital divide’ continues to be widespread, especially in rural and small communities,” he said.

“There are people in the United States without digital skills,” Layton said. “They lack education. Not many people have an interest in being online, although that has certainly changed with Covid – and because the United States is a huge country, you have the cost of getting the network into rural areas. ,

“America has done well given its challenges,” she continued, “but it is still an issue with the people not trusting the government.”

When comparing the United States to other countries in the Surfshark study, it is important to note how much the US ranks above it in the rankings, said Bruce Leachman, president, principal and analyst with Leachman Research Group in Durham, NH. Maintained.

The US has about 125 million households, compared to 2.7 million in Denmark, 21.5 million in South Korea, 1.5 million in Finland and 2.1 million in Israel. “So, one could say that given the size of the US, it is performing particularly well,” he told TechNewsWorld.

subjective subject

Although South Korea ranked second in the overall ranking, it took the top spot in both internet quality and broadband and mobile speed growth.

“One of the reasons there is a lot of bandwidth in South Korea is that gaming is so popular there,” Gold explained. He said that the government has made a policy to provide high-speed broadband to all in the next few years.

Best and worst countries for internet quality

Best and worst countries for internet quality (Image credit: Surfshark)

“South Korea has long been proactive in supporting the development and deployment of leading Internet-based services and solutions,” King said. “Add in major tech companies including Samsung, SK and LG, and South Korea’s ranking is no surprise.”

Much of South Korea’s digital infrastructure is relatively new, unlike the United States. “A lot of the infrastructure we have in the US is 30, 40 years old and hasn’t been upgraded,” Gold said. “A lot of new, high-growth countries have been adding new things or upgrading over the years. It makes a big difference.”

While Surfshark’s study may surprise some, Gould warns that digital quality of life can be a very subjective thing. “What you need and what I need may be very different from what our children need,” he said.

Furthermore, Surfshark’s findings may be more interesting than those from outside the countries involved in the study. “Users in every country are generally happy with what they have, whether they have it better or worse than other countries,” said technology analyst Jeff Kagan.

“While some countries are faster than others, users don’t know or care,” he told TechNewsWorld. “So, while it’s always fun to think about and talk about these studies, I don’t think they make any difference to users’ satisfaction.”