Finland has ranked top as the most digitally advanced country in the 2019 European Union's report on digital societies. The country has been a top performer for years now, but this is the first time that it has claimed the top spot, thanks to its high rates of mobile broadband connectivity, digital skills, and e-government initiatives.
In general, Northern European countries dominates the EU’s annual Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). The study shows positive results overall on Europe's progress in the digital transformation, but there's a need to accelerate and work harder to pursue its ambitious goals in this increasing global competition.
“In order to succeed, we have to continue to work together for an inclusive digital economy and ensure unimpeded access to digital skills for all EU citizens in order to truly thrive and build a more digital Europe.”, said Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel in a statement.
DESI measures Europe’s overall digital performance, studies the digital competitiveness of individual countries and factors such as broadband connectivity, human capital, use of internet, digital public services, and research to rank member nations. Finland ranked highest in digital public services and human capital, finishing first in several key subsectors, including 5G readiness, the Women in Digital Scoreboard and e-health services.
The report said Finland ranks low on fixed broadband use, but its mobile broadband use is far and away the highest in Europe, almost twice the EU average. It also cites Finland’s human capital, noting that 76% of the population have basic or above basic digital skills, well above the 57% EU average. The country also ranked first in digital public services, with its widespread adoption of open data and digital health care services.