For the second year running, the European Commission's annual report on digital services in Europe, the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), put Denmark at the top of the pile.
Denmark was given an overall score of 0.68 (with 1.0 being the maximum score possible), good enough to nip neighbouring Norway, which is in Europe but not a member of the EU, and Sweden. The Netherlands, Finland and Belgium also made it into the top-five.
Researchers measured connectivity (how accessible and affordable broadband is), internet skills, how frequently Europeans use the internet for key activities such as online shopping and accessing news and how well developed digital technologies and digital public services were in each member state.
In the report, Danes were praised for being “the most advanced in the use of the internet”, with 88 percent of the country’s internet users doing their banking online and 82 percent shopping online.
The report warned however that Denmark was one of several countries “lagging ahead” digitally. While Denmark outperforms the EU average in all measures of digital progress, it is improving at a slower rate than the EU as a whole.
Denmark is Europe’s top performer for internet usage, with the report saying that the nation’s residents have “a strong propensity… to use a variety of services” online.
Danes are particularly ahead of the curve when it comes to doing their banking and shopping online, but some online activities have either peaked or declined, such as reading news online.
Denmark’s business and growth minister, Troels Lund Poulsen, welcomed the first place ranking but also echoed the European Commission’s concerns that leading nations like Denmark are “lagging ahead”.
“More than a third of small and midsize Danish companies only use IT solutions to a limited extent. Industrialisation 4.0 and digital growth, including the utilisation of new opportunities through increased automation and better data utilisation, will be essential for Denmark’s businesses and residents,” he said.
“We need to use our leadership position to embrace the new digital opportunities,” he added.