Digital Economy Report 2019

Digital Economy Report

Over the past few decades, the world has gone through one of the biggest technological leaps in human history. The shift away from traditional analog systems to digital technologies and automation has had widespread and profound effects on many aspects of humanity, allowing information to be accurately recorded, stored indefinitely, and transferred immediately to anywhere on the planet.

The shift to digitization has allowed us to improve many of the ways in which we tackle problems, whether this is breaking down barriers to communication or processing data in efficient and highly precise ways. This has had a huge impact on just about every industry and sector in the global economy, with new technologies continuing to be developed with every passing year.

Digital technology and the financial sector

Certain sectors, such as financial services, have benefited tremendously from digitization, as it has allowed the near-instant transfer of funds to any part of the planet. Digital technology allows us to continually develop new ways to make money easier to manage, whether you’re overseeing the accounts of a multinational corporation or simply keeping track of your personal finances.

This is particularly evident when you consider how businesses process payments, especially with the emergence of Commerce as a dominant force in retail, with technologies like ap automation greatly increasing the efficiency and reliability of business processes and providing solutions for mass payments to scale influencer payments and affiliate marketing programs.

Digital expertise is unevenly distributed

While the benefits of digitization are difficult to dispute, some parts of the world have been much faster to embrace digital technologies than others, giving them a clear economic advantage. With digital technologies being so widespread and deeply ingrained in modern life and the global economy, those countries that can emerge as experts in some aspect of digital technology will no doubt reap the benefits in the future.

With this disparity in digital expertise in mind, we wanted to investigate which parts of the world are best placed to succeed in the future digital economy. To this end, we have conducted a study in which we looked at a wide range of factors to reveal the most promising digital economies from all over the globe.

Countries with best digital economy outlooks

Ranking the countries with the most promising digital economies according to the latest digital economy report.

In this section, we compare over 50 countries with significant economies to see which has the greatest affinity for digital technology. To achieve this, we looked at eight separate factors from annual tech exports to cyber security expertise, assigning a Digital Economy Score to each country representing the relative promise of their digital economy.

1. Singapore – Digital Economy Score: 10

Singapore has the most promising digital economy, having achieved the highest Digital Economy Score of 10. This small city-state in Southeast Asia is a well-known hive of innovation and technological development. It has also been a leading nation in the advancement of blockchain technology which could dominate the digital landscape in the near future.

A large part of the Singapore economy comes from the export of integrated circuits, or microchips, which are a key component of many electronic devices such as computers, making it an important player in the creation of hardware that supports the digital economy. Despite Singapore’s diminutive size, it is the fifth largest exporter of integrated circuits in the world, with exports in 2020 worth $62.7 billion, while total tech exports reached $193.93 billion in the same year.

2. Netherlands – Digital Economy Score: 9.8

3. Germany – Digital Economy Score: 9.6

The top countries for each digital economy factor

A screenshot of a travel website featuring a list of travel destinations and the latest digital economy report.

Here we can see which countries were able to top the table for each specific factor we looked at while calculating their Digital Economy Scores.

Median Internet Speed – Denmark – 123.96 Mbps

Denmark has the fastest median internet speed of any country in our study at 123.96 Mbps. This is 11.91% higher than second place Switzerland, where the average internet speed is 110.77 Mbps.

Annual Tech Exports – China – $942.31 billion

Technical Skills Proficiency – Indonesia – 100%

Data Science Skills Proficiency – Indonesia – 100%

National Cyber Security Index Score – Greece – 96.10

NCSI Digital Development Level – Switzerland – 82.93

IMD Digital World Competitiveness Score – Denmark – 100.00

Population that Own Crypto – China – 16.23%

The top state-level digital economies [USA]

The digital economy report presents a comprehensive map highlighting the leading states in terms of their digital economies.

In a country as large and diverse as the United States, with culture and economic activity varying greatly from place to place, each state’s economy is unique. With this in mind, we also wanted to compare how state-level digital economies in the USA compare in terms of their promise and potential.

To compare the digital economies in different US states, we have again looked at eight separate factors to create an overall State Digital Economy Score by which the states will be ranked. However, these factors differ from those included in the national section, so direct comparisons cannot be made between state and national scores.

1. Virginia – State Digital Economy Score: 10

Virginia is the state with the most promising digital economy, having received the top State Digital Economy Score of 10. Virginia is an East Coast state with a diverse economy and a strong business outlook, being repeatedly voted the best state for business in CNBC’s state competitiveness rankings. With this in mind, Virginia appears to be a dynamic state that can quickly adapt to new technologies and make the most of the digital economy.

Virginia appears to be a state with a large number of job opportunities in digital occupations, with a snapshot of jobs related to “digital” posted on Indeed showing there are 125.09 digital-related jobs available per 100,000 residents, the third highest rate in the country. 

The state also has the second-highest average download speed of 505.6 Mbps, the fifth-highest number of tech firms in the country at 20,600, and the second-highest number of tech job postings throughout all of 2021, with 1,861.87 per 100,000 people.

2. Massachusetts – State Digital Economy Score: 9.8

3. Colorado – State Digital Economy Score: 9.6

The top states for each digital economy factor

Here we can see which state performed the best for each individual factor, regardless of their overall State Digital Economy Score.

A digital economy report ranking the top ten cities in the United States.
Best State for Digital Jobs – Massachusetts
157.66 per 100,000 people

Massachusetts is the state with the highest number of digital jobs posted on Indeed compared to its population at the beginning of 2023, with 157.66 digital job listings per 100,000 people. This is 330.4% higher than the state with the fewest digital job advertisements, Mississippi, where there were just 36.63 postings per 100,000 people.

Best State for Remote Jobs – Vermont 
63.05 per 100,000 people

Best State for Average Download Speed – Maryland
506.7 Mbps

Best State for Tech Employment – Massachusetts 
4,410.30 per 100,000 people

Top State for Tech Sector Economic Impact in USA – California 
$515.6 billion

State with Highest Number of Tech Firms California 

State with Highest Number of Tech Job Postings – Colorado 
2,092.08 per 100,000 people

State with Highest Median Tech Occupation Wage – Washington

Methodology and Resources

We wanted to find out which countries and US states had the most promising digital economies. To do this, we needed to compare a range of different factors related to digital economies and combine them into a single score from which a winner could be drawn.

For the international section, we included all countries within the EU, OECD, and G20, as well as several other countries with highly developed economies. We then recorded the median internet speeds found in each country according to the Fair Internet Report. Next, we recorded each country’s National Cyber Security Index score and Digital Development Level as published by the e-Governance Academy Foundation.

Additionally, we collected each country’s Technical Skills Proficiency and Data Science Skills Proficiency from Coursera’s Global Skills Report, their Digital Competitiveness Score from IMD’s World Digital Competitiveness Ranking 2022, the proportion of each country’s population that owns crypto from TripleA, and the total value of tech exports for each country in 2021 using World Bank data.

If any country was missing data for a factor it was removed from the comparison, except in the case of tech exports where 2020 data was used if 2021 data was not available. The data for all eight factors were then combined into a single score, giving each factor equal weighting and allowing us to rank the remaining 51 countries.

For the state comparison, we used a different set of factors and sources as comparable data was not available. We first used to find the number of jobs posted that included the term “digital”, as well as the number of jobs listed as being remote. We combined this with population data from the U.S. Census Bureau to calculate rates of job posts per 100,000 for each.

We then used the State of the Tech Workforce report by The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) to record each state’s median tech occupation wage, the total number of tech firms, and the tech sector’s economic impact. We also collected the number of tech job postings in 2021 and the total size of each state’s tech workforce, both of which were then calculated as a rate per 100,000 people in each state. 
Finally, we recorded each state’s average internet download speed from BroadbandNow. We then combined all eight factors into a single equally weighted score and ranked them accordingly, revealing the states with the most promising digital economies.

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