Graph: DESI Index 2020 (The European Commission)
Finland, Sweden and Denmark top the EU's digital index 2020. Norway, not included in the ranking, scores equally high.
The Nordic countries are high performers in the digital field. As shown by DESI 2020, the European Commission's annual index, tracking the EU countries' progress towards digital economy and society.
The index assesses each country on five dimensions:
- Connectivity, dealing with access to and use of broadband.
- Human capital, including citizens’ digital skills and the proportion of ICT specialists among professionals.
- Use of Internet services, referring to citizens’ use of the Internet.
- Integration of digital technology by businesses, including e-commerce, cloud services, big data, etc.
- Digital public services, dealing with eGovernment services, e-prescriptions, open data, etc.
The index combines 37 indicators and uses a weighting system to rank each country based on its digital performance. DESI 2020 is based on data mainly from 2019.
Nordics lead in three of five areas
In the overall index, Finland, Sweden and Denmark take first to third place. Together with the Netherlands ranking fourth, the Nordic countries are a top cluster followed by Malta, Ireland and Estonia. At the bottom of the index are Greece and Bulgaria.
The Nordic EU countries also top three of five areas: Denmark is best in the EU in terms of connectivity, while Finland ranks first in human capital (digital skills) and Internet use. Sweden ranks second in terms of connectivity, human capital and Internet use. See the matrix below.
DESI Index 2020: The Nordic EU members rank among 28 EU countries
Source: DESI Index 2020 (European Commission)
Norway at the same high level
Norway is monitored by the DESI indicators, but stands aside the ranking which includes EU member states only. If included, Norway would have ranked third in the overall index, before Denmark. Moreover, Norway had taken the top position in terms of Internet use, and shared first place together with Denmark on connectivity.
5G and digital skills important in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis
The report also shows how, in dealing with the Covic-19 crisis, a number of targeted digital measures have been taken. And digital will also play a key role in the economic recovery following the crisis.
Indicators pointed out as especially relevant for the economic recovery are 5G or high-capacity networks, the digital skills and the digitisation of businesses indicators as well as in digital public services. On these indicators, the Nordic countries are either advanced or above the EU average, according to the country analyses.
Read more about digital strengths and digital challenges in the Nordic country reports:
Read more about DESI, Digital Economy and Society Index, 2020
More about the Digital Economy and Society Index: The annual DESI aims to measure the progress of EU member states towards a digital economy and society. The results are reported both in country profiles and in thematic chapters presenting a European-level analysis. The country reports combine detailed results for the indicators included across the five dimensions of the index with country-specific policy insights (e.g., about digitisation strategies and action plans) and best practices. For more information on the method, see DESI 2020 Questions & Answers.