The 2021 Digital Quality of Life (DQL) research index has revealed that Nigeria as a country lacks internet affordability as it is 90 percent worse than the global average, explaining that people in Nigeria have to work the most time (more than 35 hours) in the world to afford the cheapest broadband internet (more than 35 hours).

The research findings, released by Surfshark, VPN service company based in the British Virgin Islands cover 90 percent of the global population and index 110 countries by looking at five fundamental pillars of digital life – internet affordability and quality, e-infrastructure, e-security, and e-government.

Their findings also revealed that Nigeria has one of the worst electronic governments worldwide as it is ranked  95th in the e-government pillar.

Other key findings related to Nigeria are:

  • But Nigeria’s internet quality is similar to the global average, and its broadband speed growth is one of the fastest on the planet – ranks 16th worldwide.
  • The country has one of the slowest broadband connection speeds globally (13.45 Mbps), ranking 105th, and slightly faster mobile internet (17.91 Mbps), ranking 96th. However, the country’s broadband speed growth is one of the fastest on the planet, ranking 16th.
  • Nigeria’s e-security is slightly better than the global average – it ranks 46th in the world, surpassing Kenya, Argentina and South Africa.

Commenting generally on the 2021 Digital Quality of Life Index, the Chief Executive Officer of Surfshark, Vytautas Kaziukonis explained that 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.

“This 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,” he said.

He noted that 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.
  • Investing in electronic infrastructure and the electronic government contributes to people’s digital wellbeing the most.

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.

Methodology & data sources

The 2021 edition of the Digital Quality of Life Index is a second, improved iteration of Surfshark’s previous research. This year, the DQL Index is statistically more complex, analytically vigorous, and includes 14 different factors that directly influence the digital quality of life in any given country. With few exceptions, the DQL Index editions (2020 and 2021) are not comparable.

The DQL Index 2021 analyzes 110 countries (as compared to 85 in 2020) around the world in terms of five core pillars: internet affordability, internet quality, e-infrastructure, e-security, and e-government. Underpinning these pillars are 14 indicators that are interrelated and work together to provide a measure of the overall digital quality of life.


ITPulse is a wholly information technology communication (ICT) news website, with a special focus on the African continent. The website provides up-to-date biz-tech news, analysis and comprehensive and thorough insight into the continent's ICT terrain

Leave A Reply