Romania ranks 34th in the world by Digital Quality of Life
The fourth annual edition of the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) reports that Romania ranks 34th in the world regarding digital wellbeing. That is out of 117 countries, or 92% of the global population. Out of the five fundamental digital life pillars, Romania’s worst score is for e-government (ranking 58th globally), and the best is for internet quality (13th). Romania’s internet affordability services come 18th, while e-security and e-infrastructure rank 20th and 53rd, respectively. In the face of waging inflation, fixed broadband internet has become less affordable worldwide for the second year in a row, prying the global digital divide even further.
The DQL study is conducted by the cybersecurity company Surfshark. It evaluates countries based on five fundamental digital wellbeing pillars: internet quality, e-government, e-infrastructure, internet affordability, and e-security. This year, Romania has made it into the top 40 globally, ranking 34th in the final index and 27th in Europe. The country has not changed since last year’s edition. Out of all index pillars, Romania’s weakest spot is e-government, which needs to improve by 50% to match the best-ranking country’s result (U.S.’s).
Internet quality in Romania is impressive, and on a global scale, fixed broadband internet is better than mobile
Romania’s internet quality, considering internet speed, stability, and growth, ranks 13th in the world and is 41% better than the global average. Regarding internet speed alone, Romania’s fixed broadband internet ranks higher than mobile in the global ranking, operating at 232.9 Mbps/s (2nd globally). Meanwhile, the mobile internet comes 39th (63.3 Mbps/s).
Compared to Bulgaria, Romania’s mobile internet is 2 times slower, while broadband is 3 times faster. Since last year, mobile internet speed in Romania has improved by 9.4% (5.4 Mbps), and fixed broadband speed has grown by 8.7% (18.5 Mbps). In comparison, Singapore’s residents enjoyed mobile speeds up to 104 Mbps/s and fixed to as much as 261 Mbps/s – that’s the fastest internet in the world this year.
Internet in Romania is very affordable compared to global standards, but there’s still room for improvement
Romania’s internet affordability ranks 18th in the world. Residents can buy 1GB of mobile internet in Romania for as cheap as 59 seconds of work per month, 2 times less than in Bulgaria. However, compared to Israel, which has the most affordable mobile internet on the planet (5s per 1GB), Romanians work 12 times more. Its affordability improved since the previous year, making people work 38 seconds less to afford the same mobile internet service.
Fixed broadband costs Romanians around 82 minutes of their working time each month. To afford it, Romanians have to work 4 times more than Israeli citizens, for whom the most affordable package costs only 19 min of work monthly. Since last year, broadband internet has become more affordable in Romania, making people work 14 minutes less to afford fixed broadband internet service.
The global digital divide is now deeper than ever
Globally, broadband is getting less affordable each year. Looking at countries included in last year’s index, people have to work six minutes more to afford broadband internet in 2022. In some countries, such as Ivory Coast and Uganda, people work an average of 2 weeks to earn the cheapest fixed broadband internet package. The same trend was observed last year. With the current inflation, the pressure on low-income households that need the internet has become even heavier. Surfshark’s study also found that countries with the poorest internet connection have to work for it the longest.
“While countries with a strong digital quality of life tend to be those of advanced economies, our global study found that money doesn’t always buy digital happiness,” – explains Gabriele Racaityte-Krasauske, Head of PR at Surfshark. “That is why, for the fourth year in a row, we continue analyzing the Digital Quality of Life to see how different nations keep up with providing the basic digital necessities for their citizens. Most importantly, our research seeks to show the full picture of the global digital divide that millions of people are suffering from.”
The best and the worst countries to live in by the digital quality of life
Overall, 7 out of 10 highest-scoring countries are in Europe, which has been the case for the past three years. Israel ranks 1st in DQL 2022 pushing Denmark to the second place after its two-year lead. Germany ranks 3rd, and France and Sweden round up the top five of the 117 evaluated nations. Congo DR, Yemen, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Cameroon are the bottom five countries.
Regionally, the US stands out in the Americas as a country with the highest digital quality of life, while Israel takes the leading position in Asia. Among African countries, people in South Africa enjoy the highest digital life quality. In Oceania, New Zealand takes the lead outperforming Australia in various digital areas this year.
The 2022 DQL research examined more than 7.2 billion people regarding five core pillars and 14 underpinning indicators that provide a comprehensive measure. The study is based on the United Nations open-source information, the World Bank, Freedom House, the International Communications Union, and other sources. This year’s study includes seven (6%) more countries than DQL 2021, most of which are African countries.
The final 2022 Digital Quality of Life report and an interactive country comparison tool can be found here: https://surfshark.com/dql2021