NEWS | 13 Mar 2017

The Nordics peak in 2017 digital EU index

Denmark, Finland and Sweden are Europe's best-performing countries in digitization, according to the European Commission's digital index of 2017. Norway, not included in the ranking, is at the same high level as its neighbouring Nordic countries.

The European Commission's annual Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) monitors Member States’ development towards a digital economy and society. It is a tool for assessing the States’ progress towards the objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe, and pictures each country based on five dimensions:

  • Connectivity shows how widespread, fast and affordable broadband is;
  • Human capital includes, e.g., share of net users, basic digital skills and share of ICT specialists;
  • Use of Internet refers to citizens’ use of content, including a variety of activities, such as news reading and online shopping;
  • Integration of digital technology refers to business digitizing and eCommerce, e.g. e-invoices and cloud-based services;
  • Digital public services or e-government

The index combines more than 30 indicators and uses a weighting system to rank each country based on its digital performance.

Nordic region tops three of five areas
Denmark, Finland and Sweden rank a respective first, second and third in the index, with the Netherlands close behind in fourth place. Together with Luxembourg, Belgium, the UK, Ireland and Estonia, these belong to the cluster of high-performing countries.

The matrix below shows the Nordic countries' ranking in the overall index and for the five components. Denmark is best in the EU in the integration of digital technologies and the population’s Internet use, and Sweden ranks second. Finland ranks first in human capital (Internet skills) and second in the level of digital public services in the community (e-services).

DESI Index: The Nordic countries’ rankings among the EU28

Source: DESI Index 2017 (European Commission).

Norway and Iceland, as non-EU members, are not included in the ranking. But a Norwegian country report shows that Norway scores equally high as its Nordic neighbours, and would have come second behind Denmark (and first in Internet use) if included in the ranking. The latest figures for Iceland are from 2015.

European Commission press release March 3, 2017
About DESI 2017
Country Profiles EU28 plus Norway and Iceland


More about the index: DESI 2017 is based on data mainly from 2016. Detailed results for the indicators are included in the different areas presented in the profiles for each country. For more information about the methodology, see the DESI 2017 Fact Sheet.