Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Estonia

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Spider chart showing Estonia's score in connectivity, human capital, digital public services, use of internet and integration of digital technology compared to the EU average score
Find here the most recent analysis and data by country. A selection of key documents and graphs are shown about topics such as broadband, internet activity and skills, egovernment, ICT in schools, research and innovation, as well as other main indicators.
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In DESI 2015, Estonia has an overall score[1] of 0.55 and ranks 7th out of the 28 EU Member States.  Estonia is at the forefront in the supply and use of Digital Public Services which are the second best in Europe. Estonia remains the leader in the availability of pre-filled online forms, and in the use of ePrescriptions by General Practitioners (100%).  Estonians are well-skilled in the use of digital technologies (their digital skills levels are above those of the average EU user) and keen users of a variety of internet activities. 22% of Estonians shop cross border, a higher rate than the European average.

Estonia falls into the cluster of medium‑performance[2] countries.

DESIEstoniaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 201570.550.520.48
DESI 201480.50.460.45

1. Connectivity

1 ConnectivityEstoniaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015140.590.630.56
DESI 2014180.460.540.51

 

With an overall Connectivity score of 0.59, Estonia ranks 14th among EU countries. Estonians seem to prefer the use of broadband through mobile. Fixed broadband coverage remains a challenge although fast broadband networks (at least 30 Mbps) are now available to 83% of households – a favourable increase compared to the previous year.

 

 EstoniaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
1a1 Fixed BB Coverage
% households
88%
(2014)
 2685%
(2013)
2897%
(2014)
1a2 Fixed BB Take-up
% households
69%
(2014)
 1269%
(2013)
1070%
(2014)
1b1 Mobile BB Take-up
Subscribers per 100 people
114
(2014)
 392
(2013)
472
(2014)
1b2 Spectrum
% of the target for spectrum to be harmonised at EU level
98%
(2014)
 396%
(2013)
470%
(2014)
1c1 NGA Coverage
% households, out of all households
83%
(2014)
 1174%
(2013)
1468%
(2014)
1c2 Subscriptions to Fast BB
% of subscriptions >= 30Mbps, out of fixed BB subscriptions
24%
(2014)
 1916%
(2013)
2126%
(2014)
1d1 Fixed BB Price
% individual gross income spent for the cheapest standalone Fixed Broadband subscription (lower values are better)
1.3%
(2014)
 142.5%
(2013)
261.4%
(2014)

 

Estonia scores well in the take up of broadband, both mobile (where it features significant progress) and fixed. 4th generation (LTE) mobile networks are available to at least 85% of the population. However, Estonia occupies the third to last position in terms of availability of fixed broadband (88% of homes).

At the same time, in December 2014 coverage of fast broadband networks (at least 30 Mbps) was significant (83% of homes). Although fixed broadband take-up has remained unchanged, the share of subscriptions to fast broadband (at least 30 Mbps) has increased from 14% to 24%, thereby nearing the EU average of 26%.

Finally, there has been a significant decrease in the share of individual gross income spent on a fixed broadband subscription, which is currently almost on par with the European average.

 

 Download the Report on the Implementation of the Telecommunications Regulatory Package (EN)

2. Human Capital

2 Human CapitalEstoniaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015100.590.570.54
DESI 2014120.550.530.52

 

With a Human Capital score of 0.59, Estonia ranks 10th among EU countries, an improvement over the 12th place occupied in 2014.

 

 EstoniaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
2a1 Internet Users
% individuals (aged 16-74)
82%
(2014)
 977%
(2013)
1075%
(2014)
2a2 Basic Digital Skills
% individuals (aged 16-74)
69%
(2014)
 759%
(2012)
1059%
(2014)
2b1 ICT Specialists
% employed individuals
3.2%
(2012)
 93.2%
(2012)
92.8%
(2012)
2b2 STEM Graduates
Graduates in STEM per 1000 individuals (aged 20 to 29)
13
(2012)
 2113
(2012)
2117
(2012)

 

More and more Estonians are becoming regular Internet users, and their digital skills levels are above those of the average EU user. Moreover, the share of ICT Specialists as percentage of the employed is above EU average. The same cannot be said for STEM (science, technology, and mathematics) Graduates, where Estonia lags behind the EU average.

3. Use of Internet

3 Use of InternetEstoniaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 201540.540.470.43
DESI 201430.530.430.41

 

In terms of the propensity of individuals to use Internet services, Estonia scores 0.54 and ranks 4th among all the EU countries. While the consumption of music, video and games content by Estonians has decreased to levels comparable to the EU average, there has been a considerable increase in online shopping.

 

 EstoniaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
3a1 News
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
90%
(2014)
 291%
(2013)
167%
(2014)
3a2 Music, Videos and Games
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
49%
(2014)
 1756%
(2012)
949%
(2014)
3a3 Video on Demand
% households that have a TV
35%
(2014)
 1235%
(2013)
1141%
(2014)
3b1 Video Calls
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
51%
(2014)
 860%
(2013)
337%
(2014)
3b2 Social Networks
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
60%
(2014)
 2061%
(2013)
1358%
(2014)
3c1 Banking
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
91%
(2014)
 291%
(2013)
257%
(2014)
3c2 Shopping
% individuals who used Internet in the last year (aged 16-74)
57%
(2014)
 1429%
(2013)
2663%
(2014)

 

Estonian internet users are well-versed in the variety of online activities available to them. They are at the forefront of Internet use in Europe in areas like online banking (91%) and the consumption of news content (90%).

In general Estonians are placed above the EU average in almost all categories, with the exception of video on demand and online shopping, but in the latter, they are catching up fast. Finally, 22% of Estonians shop cross border (about half of those engaging in eCommerce), a higher rate than the European average.

4. Integration of Digital Technology

4 Integration of Digital TechnologyEstoniaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015220.270.370.33
DESI 2014220.240.330.3

 

In Integration of Digital Technology by businesses, Estonia scores 0.27, its weakest score among the five DESI 2015 dimensions. The uptake of digital technologies and practices by businesses has been slow, and Estonia’s businesses are only starting to exploit the possibilities offered by on-line commerce.

 

 EstoniaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
4a1 Electronic Information Sharing
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
17%
(2014)
 2515%
(2013)
2431%
(2014)
4a2 RFID
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
2.6%
(2014)
 250.61%
(2011)
263.8%
(2014)
4a3 Social Media
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
7.9%
(2014)
 248.5%
(2013)
2314%
(2014)
4a4 eInvoices
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
10%
(2014)
 1416%
(2013)
611%
(2014)
4a5 Cloud
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
9.4%
(2014)
 14n.a.-11%
(2014)
4b1 SMEs Selling Online
% SMEs (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
12%
(2014)
 1710%
(2013)
2015%
(2014)
4b2 eCommerce Turnover
% turnover of SMEs (no financial sector, 10-249 employees)
13%
(2014)
 57.5%
(2013)
158.8%
(2014)
4b3 Selling Online Cross-border
% SMEs (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
5.5%
(2013)
 165.5%
(2013)
166.5%
(2013)

 

Increasingly, Estonian enterprises are taking advantage of electronic information sharing and RFID technologies, whereby the share of enterprises using these technologies is 17% and 2.6%. However, Estonian enterprises still lag behind the EU average, not only in the abovementioned categories, but also in the use of social media and eInvoices, where there has been even a downward trend in utilisation.

On a more positive note, the percentage of SMEs selling online (12%) is increasing, and slowly approaching the EU average (15%). Furthermore, the share of turnover of Estonian SMEs generated by eCommerce (13%) is the 5th highest among all the EU countries. Nevertheless, the percentage of SMEs selling online cross-border (5.5%) remains below the EU average of 6.5%.

5. Digital Public Services

5 Digital Public ServicesEstoniaClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 201520.790.510.47
DESI 201420.80.440.45

 

Estonia has been at the forefront of online public services for a few years. Digital Public Services in Estonia are the second best in Europe, and Estonia remains the leader in the availability of pre-filled online forms, and the use of ePrescriptions.  

 

 EstoniaEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
5a1 eGovernment Users
% individuals returning filled forms, out of Internet users in the last year (aged 16-74)
38%
(2014)
 1037%
(2013)
1033%
(2014)
5a2 Pre-filled Forms
Score (0 to 100)
93
(2014)
 196
(2013)
145
(2014)
5a3 Online Service Completion
Score (0 to 100)
94
(2014)
 387
(2013)
575
(2014)
5a4 Open Data
Score (0 to 700)
480
(2014)
 10n.a.-378
(2014)
5b1 Medical Data Exchange
% General Practitioners
72%
(2013)
 372%
(2013)
336%
(2013)
5b2 ePrescription
% General Practitioners
100%
(2013)
 1100%
(2013)
127%
(2013)

 

The share of eGovernment users (38%) returning filled-in forms is above the EU average (33%) and increasing; this is also facilitated by the possibility to complete online almost all the steps for a required service. Estonia is also strongly committed to the implementation of the once-only principle, reusing previous information to lower the burden to citizens by way of pre-filled forms better than every other EU country.

The Estonian government has introduced a wide variety of e-services, accessed through the electronic identity card (e-ID) of its citizens. This card enables electronic authentication, and serves as a digital signature to allow Estonians to sign contracts, vote, submit their tax declarations, purchase tickets for the public transport, and check their children's progress at school electronically.

That user-centric approach is reflected in the popularity of e-services: 95% of tax declarations in 2013 were filed electronically.

Estonia is also at the forefront of digitisation of healthcare. ePrescription is used by all General Practitioners, and medical data exchange is used by almost three quarters of General Practitioners, the third highest share in Europe.

 

 Download the eGovernment benchmark factsheet (EN)

6. R&D

 Download information on R&D in the ICT sector and participation in Horizon 2020 (EN)

 

[1] DESI scores range from 0 to 1, the higher the score the better the country performance.

[2] In the DESI 2015, the medium-performance cluster of countries comprises Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.

 

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Last updated on 18/06/2015