Digital Quality Of Life Study Reveals How Countries Rank On Internet Quality, Security, Affordability

The world is a big place, but not all countries offer a good internet experience.

In fact, during the first month of the COVID-19 lockdown, people in 49 of 85 countries analyzed experienced slower mobile internet speeds. People in 44 countries experienced slower broadband connection speeds, according to a study released Tuesday.

Surfshark’s 2020 edition of the Digital Quality of Life Index analyzes 12 factors that directly influence the digital quality of life in 85 countries. It analyzes internet affordability, internet quality, infrastructure, security, and government.

Some seven of 10 countries with the highest digital quality of life are in Europe, but unfortunately, the study also found people in 75% of the researched countries have to work more than the global average to afford the internet.

  • 95% of people in the most active region, Scandinavia -- a subregion in Northern Europe with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties  -- use the internet, compared with 35% in Southern Asia, the least active region globally
  • Countries stagnate in improving their online infrastructure once they reach a higher-than-average GDP per capita
  • Stronger security correlates with governments that have well-developed online services, except for Eastern European countries
  • 3 hours 48 minutes is a global average of working time needed to afford the cheapest broadband internet vs. 10 minutes is a global average work time required to afford the cheapest mobile internet



United States’ online government services are some of the best in the world, but the country ranks 30 for online infrastructure. The existing electronic infrastructure in the U.S. is not as developed and inclusive as counties such as Australia, Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, Malaysia, and Spain, among others. 

Countries with the most affordable internet:

  • Israel
  • Canada
  • Azerbaijan
  • Poland
  • Iran
  • France
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • India
  • Bulgaria

Countries with the least affordable internet:

  • Nigeria
  • Honduras
  • Colombia
  • Panama
  • Mexico
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Guatemala
  • Costa Rica
  • Albania

The top 10 countries with the highest online security levels are the European Union member states. Globally, they lead in implementing effective cybersecurity policies and ensuring personal data protection, which shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.


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