Hungary 32nd in the world according to the 2021 digital quality of life index
Hungary ranked above average and near the top of the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) against 109 countries internationally, but there are still areas for improvement for the country to improve its digital well-being for residents and businesses.
Hungary ranks 32nd globally on DQL 2021 research conducted by global cybersecurity company Sharksurf. Hungary came 22nd compared to 38 countries in Europe. The DQL 2021 study covers 90% of the world’s population and lists 110 countries by examining five fundamental pillars of digital life: Internet accessibility, Internet quality, e-infrastructure, e-security and the government.
Internationally, Hungary’s top criteria rankings include its broadband speed (8th), broadband Internet stability (13th) and mobile Internet stability (25th). The worst rankings in the country are mobile speed growth (75th), the online services index (52nd) and broadband speed growth (41st).
Hungary has shown an exceptional performance in many ways. Internet quality and electronic security place it among the top 30 internationally, ranking 29th and 28th respectively. The two pillars are 20% stronger than the world average.
That said, Hungary is down seven places in the overall index compared to 2020, although the country still sits above the global average. The greatest room for improvement lies in the accessibility of the Internet, which is mainly responsible for the decline.
“Compared to last year, Hungary’s Internet accessibility index has fallen by 55%. Hungarians have to spend almost two hours a month to afford the cheapest broadband internet plan, which is one hour and 33 minutes more than in 2020, ”said Vytautas Kaziukonis, founder and CEO of Surfshark, in Budapest Business Journal.
Kaziukonis lists the reasons why Internet accessibility is an area to consider for improvement. The affordability of the Internet connection has a direct impact on the accessibility of the Internet. A less affordable internet therefore harms a nation’s overall digital well-being, which is a self-sustaining cycle, he says.
Room for improvement
While Hungary does slightly better than the world average in all DQL pillars, placing it in the world top 40, there are areas that could still be improved.
“The country has the most difficulty with e-government and ranks 45th in the world. It could be useful to improve this area as better e-government helps to minimize bureaucracy, reduce corruption and increase public sector transparency. It also improves the efficiency of public services and helps people save time, influencing the quality of their digital lives, ”Kaziukonis said.
The country ranks fourth in Eastern Europe, behind its peers in Visegrád Four; Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. Looking at the weighted digital quality of life score, Poland is 25th, the Czech Republic 28th and Slovakia 29th, while Hungary comes 32nd.
Nonetheless, Hungary managed to beat the members of V4 in terms of weighted internet quality, placing 29th and ahead of Poland (36th), Slovakia (43rd) and the Czech Republic (53rd).
As mentioned above, Hungary’s strongest point, even in global comparison, is the speed of broadband internet, which has improved by 51%, reaching 167.815 Mbps, since the start of the COVID-pandemic. 19. The speed of mobile internet in Hungary has also improved by 25% and now reaches 44.8 Mbps, according to Kaziukonis.
“The data shows that Hungary has managed to mobilize effectively in the face of COVID-19 and has quickly prepared for remote daily life,” said the CEO of Surfshark.
The infrastructure and possibilities of information and communication technologies (ICT) are sufficient to foster a healthy business environment in the country. Hungary ranks 39th out of 134 economies on the Network Readiness Index (NRI) 2020, which measures the performance of these states across 60 variables. This ranking also suggests a high probability for the country to exploit ICT opportunities.
“These are very important for international trade, which today is deeply linked to the ICT sector. In addition, the Internet usage index is high at 0.89, which means that a reasonable number of people in the country are using the Internet, ”Kaziukonis told BBJ.
“Finally, the online services index (0.75) is higher than the world average (0.71). The index assesses each country’s national website in the native language, including the national portal, the online service portal and the online participation portal, as well as the websites of the relevant ministries of education, government. labor, social services, health, finance and environment, where applicable. This aspect is vital for foreign investors when dealing with legal matters, ”adds Kaziukonis.
About the research
The DQL 2021 ranking looked at a total population of over 6.9 billion people in terms of five main pillars and 14 underlying indicators that provide a comprehensive measure, according to Surfshark. The global cybersecurity company registered in the British Virgin Islands and operating with a worldwide team based in Cyprus, Germany, Lithuania (where the company is headquartered), the Netherlands, the Philippines, Ukraine, United Kingdom and United States. The study is based on open source information provided by Freedom House, the International Communications Union, the United Nations, the World Bank, and other sources. “Digital opportunities have proven to be more significant than ever during the COVID-19 crisis, highlighting the importance for each country to ensure fully remote operational capabilities for their economies,” said Surfshark CEO Vytautas Kaziukonis. “That’s why, for the third year in a row, we’re continuing digital quality of life research, which provides a strong global perspective on how countries excel digitally. The index lays the groundwork for meaningful discussions on the impact of digital progress on a country’s prosperity and on areas where improvements can be made, ”said the CEO.
This article first appeared in the print issue of the Budapest Business Journal on September 24, 2021.