Thailand now 44th in Digital Quality of Life Index 2021

Thailand Ranks 44th in the World in Digital Quality of Life Index 2021

Covering 90% of the global population, the DQL study is conducted by the cybersecurity company Surfshark and evaluates countries based on a set of five fundamental digital wellbeing pillars. Thailand excels in internet quality (ranks 19th), but displays comparatively low results in internet affordability (58th), e-infrastructure (46th), e-security (63rd), and e-government (51st).

Overall, Thailand has demonstrated one of the most significant improvements compared to the DQL 2020, rising from 63rd place to 44th and excelling in the internet quality pillar worldwide. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand’s mobile speed has improved by 81 % and is now 40.79 Mbps. At the same time, broadband speeds increased by 29% and are now 189.54 Mbps. However, despite making a huge leap in the overall index, Thailand has room for improvement in specific areas, such as e-government and e-infrastructure. Thailand has a similar GDP per capita as the Dominican Republic. However, the e-security of both countries differs substantially – the Dominican Republic ranks 48th in the pillar, while Thailand barely makes it to the TOP 70.

The research shows that even though the internet is becoming more affordable in Thailand, it is still around 40% worse than the global average. The country ranks 58th in the world, surpassed by Singapore, Viet Nam, and Iran.

“Digital opportunities have proved to be more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis, stressing the importance for every country to ensure fully remote operational capacities for their economies,” explains Vytautas Kaziukonis, CEO of Surfshark. “That is why, for the third year in a row, we continue the Digital Quality of Life research, which provides a robust global outlook into how countries excel digitally. The index sets the basis for meaningful discussions about how digital advancement impacts a country’s prosperity and where improvements can be made.”

In an all-around picture, 6 out of 10 countries holding the highest scores are located in Europe, following last year’s trend. Denmark ranks 1st in DQL for the second year in a row and is closely followed by South Korea. Finland ranks 3rd, while Israel and the U.S. round out the top five of 110 nations that were evaluated. The bottom 5 countries are Ethiopia, Cambodia, Cameroon, Guatemala, and Angola.

Regionally, the U.S. stands out as a country with the highest digital quality of life in the Americas, while South Korea takes the leading position in Asia. Among countries in Africa, people in South Africa enjoy the highest quality of their digital lives whereas Australia leads in Oceania, outperforming New Zealand in various digital areas.

Other significant findings of the report include:

  • Broadband is globally less affordable this year. Comparing countries included in both DQL20 and DQL21, people have to work 11% more (25 min more) to afford broadband internet in 2021. However, people have to work 29% less (28 min less) to afford mobile internet this year.

  • The world’s worst internet is the least affordable. People in some countries, such as Nigeria, Côte D’Ivoire and Mali require approximately a week’s worth of work to afford the internet.

The 2021 DQL research examined a total population of more than 6.9 billion people in terms of five core pillars and 14 underpinning indicators that provide a comprehensive measure. The study is based on open-source information provided by the United Nations, the World Bank, Freedom House, the International Communications Union, and other sources.

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