While most happiness and quality of life are awards that are typically held somewhere in Scandinavia, one might argue that as augmented and virtual reality technology takes us into an increasingly online existence, digital quality of life may be something even more worthwhile to seek (The Jerusalem Post doesn’t recommend making that argument, though, because it seems like a pretty easy one to lose).
According to SurfShark’s fourth annual edition of the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL), Israel now ranks first in 2022, pushing Denmark to second place after a two-year lead. The study considers 117 countries; 92% of the global population.
What is digital quality of life?
Digital quality of life is defined by five metrics, according to the report: internet quality, e-government, e-infrastructure, internet affordability and e-security. By evaluating each country’s standing in these metrics, a score can be derived, which in turn gives residents of high-rating countries a minor boost of confidence when they flit over the headline declaring that their thing is better than others.
Israel has done well in a number of these metrics, notably in affordability: Israel boasts the most affordable internet in the world this year, primarily due to its remarkably cheap mobile internet. The country tops the leaderboard despite a prolonged period of inflation and rising prices. Israel’s worst score is for e-government, which ranked 33rd globally, internet quality services come 21st, and e-infrastructure and e-security rank 28th and 32nd, respectively.
The most affordable internet in the world
While Israel’s mobile internet is the most affordable in the world, there’s still room for improvement in fixed broadband affordability. Since last year, broadband internet affordability has not improved in Israel, ranking 28th globally; however, considering both mobile and fixed internet, Israel still boasts the best overall internet affordability index.
Globally, there is a rising trend in less affordable broadband internet. The report notes that, 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.
Recent efforts have been made by the Ministry of Communications to broaden the availability of fiber optic internet throughout the country, though it’s unclear whether the switch to fiber will do much to cheapen broadband’s cost in the long term.
“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,” said 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,” she said. “Most importantly, our research seeks to show the full picture of the global digital divide that millions of people are suffering from.”