In 2017, Belgium claims 6th place, doing particularly well in terms of connectivity and the integration of digital technology. Every year, the Digital Economy & Society Index (DESI) ranks European Union member states based on their digital performance and competitiveness.
The European scoreboard
DESI 2017 results indicate that Europe continues to climb up the digital ladder: it achieved an overall score of 0.52, up 3% from last year’s 0.49. The EU is progressing in all DESI dimensions – connectivity, human capital, use of internet, integration of digital technology and digital public services.
However, the gap between the most and the least digitized economies and societies is growing. The difference between the first and last listed countries is now 37%, up 1% compared to 2016.
Zooming in on Belgium’s performance
In 2017,Belgium continues to rank among the best-performing member states when it comes to digitization. Achieving an overall score of 0.61, the country ranks 6th out of 28.
In general, the country scores above the European average, improving at a slightly slower pace than the EU as a whole.
With a score of 0.78, Belgium is a strong performer in connectivity, landing 3rd place in the EU. This is mainly thanks to its impressive 1st place in the number of subscriptions to fast broadband and its 2nd place in next generation access network (NGA) coverage. In addition, the country ranks 5th among EU countries for integration of digital technology (0.52). When it comes to its use of internet (0.52), human capital (0.57) and digital public services (0.57) scores, Belgium finishes just outside the top 10.
Growing integration of digital technology
Belgium is particularly gaining ground in integrating digital technology. The country realizes the 3rd highest turnover for e-commerce and it ranks in 2nd place for electronic information sharing, with 50% of all businesses utilizing various technologies in this area.
DESI’s 5 dimensions
The DESI 2017 summarizes data collected in 2016 and gives a score from 0 to 1 according to five principal dimensions:
- Connectivity: fixed and mobile broadband, internet speed and prices
- Human capital: skills, development and internet use
- Use of internet: use of content, communication and online transactions
- Integration of digital technology: business digitization and e-commerce
- Digital public services: eGovernment
The higher the score a country gets for each of the dimensions, the better its performance.
About Belgium and Flanders
With Dutch as its official language, Flanders (Dutch: Vlaanderen) is the northern region of Belgium. The capital of both Belgium and Flanders is Brussels.