In assessing digital wellbeing globally, South Africa has been found to rank 68th among 110 countries in the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) 2021.
The country dropped nine places in the DQL ranking since last year. The latest results were revealed on 22 September.
Despite this drop, South Africa is still first in Africa, surpassing Kenya and Morocco.
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 pillars of digital life: internet affordability, internet quality, e-infrastructure, e-security and e-government.
Compared to Kenya, South Africa ranks lower in e-infrastructure and e-security, however, it shows better results in internet affordability, internet quality and e-government.
Research showed that South Africa achieves better results than the global average in internet affordability (26th), but ranks comparatively lower in internet quality (57th), e-security (85th), e-infrastructure (87th) and e-government (57th).
In e-security, South Africa is surpassed by Algeria, Kenya and Nigeria. E-infrastructure in South Africa is also around 20% worse than the global average.
South Africans have to work one hour 38 minutes to afford the cheapest broadband internet package, and 59 seconds to afford the cheapest 1 GB of mobile internet, which is three minutes less than in 2020.
Six out of the ten countries that scored highest are in Europe, following last year’s trend.
Denmark ranks first for the second year in a row and is closely followed by South Korea.
Finland ranks third, while Israel and America round out the top five of 110 nations evaluated.