Australia ranks 17th for digital quality

Friday, 17 September, 2021

Australia ranks 17th for digital quality

The third annual edition of the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) ranks Australia 17th among 110 countries. Covering 90% of the global population, the DQL study is conducted by the cybersecurity company Surfshark and evaluates countries based on a set of five fundamental digital wellbeing pillars.

Australia excels in two globally, specifically: internet quality (7th) and e-government (9th); while its e-infrastructure (22nd), internet affordability (23rd) and e-security (36th) show comparatively lower results. Overall, Australia has demonstrated a slight improvement compared to DQL 2020, rising from 19th place to 17th and surpassing New Zealand in four main pillars, only falling behind in e-infrastructure.

The strongest country’s scores are in internet quality and e-government, which are 40% better than the global average. Despite being the leader in Oceania, Australia has room for improvement in specific areas. The country shows mediocre results in e-security. It is the only pillar that has not made it into the top 30, ranking 36th.

The cheapest 1 GB of mobile internet in Australia can be bought for only 16 seconds of work per month, 11 times less than in the United States (176 s/month) and a striking 17 times less than New Zealand (total of 264 s/month). However, New Zealand’s broadband internet speeds remain two times faster than Australia’s.

Additionally, the study found that Australians have to work 1h 48 minutes per month to buy the cheapest broadband internet, 42 minutes more than 2020.

In an all-around picture, six out of 10 countries holding the highest scores are located in Europe, following last year’s trend. Denmark ranks first in DQL for the second year in a row and is closely followed by South Korea. Finland ranks third, while Israel and the US round out the top five of 110 nations that were evaluated. The bottom five countries are Ethiopia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Guatemala and Angola.

Regionally, the US stands out as a country with the highest digital quality of life in the Americas, while South Korea takes the leading position in Asia. Among countries in Africa, people in South Africa enjoy the highest quality of their digital lives whereas Australia leads in Oceania, outperforming New Zealand in various digital areas.

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