Romania’s digital quality of life soars to 14th place globally with unbeatable fixed internet affordability

Constantin Macri 12/09/2023 | 14:55

Surfshark’s 5th annual Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL) ranks Romania 14th in the world, surging by twenty places from last year. The country has the 3rd most affordable internet, but if we looked only at fixed broadband — Romania takes the lead.  The nation ranks 6th in e-security, 12th in internet quality, and 61st in e-infrastructure. However, the country faces challenges in e-infrastructure (61st) and e-government (62nd). In the overall Index, Romania surpasses Bulgaria (40th) and Hungary (34th). European countries lead the world in their digital quality of life, Romania taking 13th place in the region.


“It’s reassuring to see Romania rank so well in the DQL Index. In many nations, ‘digital quality of life’ has merged into the broader concept of overall ‘quality of life’. There’s no other way to look at it now that so many daily activities, including work, education, and leisure, are done online. That’s why it’s crucial to pinpoint the areas in which a nation’s digital quality of life thrives and where attention is needed, which is the precise purpose of the DQL Index”, says Gabriele Racaityte-Krasauske, Surfshark’s spokeswoman.

The internet is highly affordable in Romania compared to other countries.

  • Romanians have to work 18 minutes a month to afford fixed broadband internet — less than any other country in the world. Bulgarians, for example, have to work 1 hour 31 minutes to afford fixed broadband.
  • Romanians have to work 1 hour 27 minutes 16 seconds a month to afford mobile internet. This is 5 times more than in Luxembourg, which has the world’s most affordable mobile internet (Luxembourgers have to work 16 minutes a month to afford it).

Romania’s internet quality is 39% higher than the global average.

  • Fixed internet averages 259 Mbps in Romania. To put that into perspective, the world’s fastest fixed internet — Singapore’s — is 300 Mbps. Meanwhile, the slowest fixed internet in the world — Yemen’s — is 11 Mbps.
  • Mobile internet averages 77 Mbps. The fastest mobile internet — the UAE’s — is 310 Mbps, while the world’s slowest mobile internet — Venezuela’s — is 10 Mbps.

Compared to Bulgaria, Romania’s mobile internet is 64% slower, but fixed broadband is 127% faster. Since last year, mobile internet speed in Romania has improved by 22%, while fixed broadband speed has grown by 11%.

Romania is 6th in the world in e-security — 14 places higher than last year.

The e-security pillar measures how well a country is prepared to counter cybercrime, as well as how advanced a country’s data protection laws are. In this pillar, Romania outperforms Bulgaria (22nd) and Hungary (24th). Romania is highly prepared to fight against cybercrime, and since it is a member of the EU and subject to the GDPR, the country has excellent data protection laws.

Romania is 61st in e-infrastructure and 62nd in e-government.

Advanced e-infrastructure makes it easy for people to use the internet for various daily activities, such as working, studying, shopping, etc. This pillar evaluates how high internet penetration is in a given country, as well as its network readiness (readiness to take advantage of Information and Communication Technologies). Romania faces challenges in this pillar — internet penetration is moderate (78% — 75th in the world), and the country ranks 50th in network readiness.

The e-government pillar shows how advanced a government’s digital services are and the level of Artificial Intelligence (AI) readiness a country demonstrates. Romania’s e-government is just around the global average.

Globally, the internet is more affordable than last year.

  • Fixed internet is 11% more affordable than last year — on average, people have to work 42 minutes less a month to afford it.
  • Mobile internet is 26% more affordable than last year — people have to work 41 minutes less to afford it.


The DQL Index 2023 examined 121 nations (92% of the global population) based on five core pillars that consist of 14 indicators. The study is based on the United Nations’ open-source information, the World Bank, and other sources. This year’s study includes four more countries than DQL 2022, reaffirming Surfshark’s commitment to global representation.

Romania’s full profile in the 2023 Digital Quality of Life report and an interactive country comparison tool can be found here: 

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