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Ireland fastest growing digital economy in Europe

Over the past year, all EU countries improved their digital performance in the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). DESI is a composite index that summarises relevant indicators on Europe’s digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU Member States in digital competitiveness.

Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands scored the highest ratings in DESI 2020 and are among the global leaders in digitalisation. These countries are followed by Malta, Ireland and Estonia. Some other countries however still have a long way to go, and the EU as a whole needs improvement to be able to compete on the global stage.

DESI 2020


Ireland ranks 6th out of 28 EU Member States in the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2020. Over the last five years, Ireland was the fastest growing Member State in the EU. 

Based on data prior to the pandemic, Ireland continues to rank first in the Integration of digital technology dimension, and has maintained a leading position in the use of e-Commerce by SMEs. It entered the ‘top 10’ on the Use of internet by individuals and recorded a notable increase in the share of internet users. It maintained its top 10 position in digital public services, where it excels in open data and the provision of digital public services for businesses. There was no substantial change in Ireland`s position in the Human capital and Connectivity dimensions despite some improvement in key indicators where it has been lagging behind, such as the digital skills of the wider population.

Digital transformation continues to be one of the core economic policy issues in Ireland. This is reflected in the various policy initiatives in 2019. Following the general election in February 2020, it remains to be seen how the new government, once formed, will address digital transformation. 

Read the full DESI scoreboard for Ireland here.

DESI Area Reports

DESI area report: Connectivity - Broadband market developments in the EU

DESI area report: Human Capital/Digital skills

DESI area report: Use of Internet Services by citizens

DESI area report: Integration of Digital Technology by businesses

DESI area report: Digital Public Services

DESI area report: Research and Development ICT

The Telecom Chapters of the DESI

The Telecoms chapters provide a snapshot of the electronic communications markets in each Member State.

International DESI

The International Digital Economy and Society Index (I-DESI) mirrors and extends the EU28 Digital Economy and Society Index by utilising 24 datasets to enable trend analysis and comparison of the digital performance of 45 countries.

The latest I-DESI will be published later in 2020.

Women in Digital (WiD) Scoreboard

The WiD scoreboard is one of the actions put in place to assess women's inclusion in digital jobs, careers and entrepreneurship. The scoreboard assesses Member States' performance in the areas of Internet use, Internet user skills as well as specialist skills and employment based on 13 indicators.


The DESI 2020 reports are based on 2019 data. The United Kingdom is still included in the 2020 DESI, and EU averages are calculated for 28 Member States. The DESI was re-calculated for previous years to reflect the changes in the choice of indicators and corrections made to the underlying data. The scores and rankings may thus have changed compared with previous editions.

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