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Human Capital and Digital Skills in the Digital Economy and Society Index

The Commission monitors ‘internet user skills’ and ‘advanced skills and development’ across the EU to ensure people are equipped for the digital decade.

Digital Economy and Society Index Report 2020 - Human Capital

In the past year, there was an improvement both in internet user skills (at least basic digital skills) and in advanced skills (ICT graduates and ICT specialists).

In 2019, the percentage of people that have at least basic digital skills reached 58% (up from 55% in 2015). A large part of the EU population, however, still lacks basic digital skills, even though most jobs require such skills.

In 2018, some 9.1 million people worked as ICT specialists across the EU, 1.6 million more than 4 years earlier. Nevertheless, there remains a shortage of ICT specialists on the labour market: 64% of large enterprises and 56% of SMEs that recruited ICT specialists during 2018, reported that vacancies for ICT specialists are hard to fill. The problem is even more widespread in Romania and Czechia, where at least 80% of enterprises that either recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists reported such difficulties. There is also a gender balance issue as only one in six ICT specialists are female. Overall, in the Human capital dimension of the DESI, Finland, Sweden and Estonia are the most advanced.


Download (;pdf) the report: DESI 2020 - Human Capital - Digital Inclusion and Skills


Archive Documents

Documents 2019

  • DESI 2019 - Human Capital - Digital Inclusion and Skills (PDF)

Documents 2018

  • DESI 2018 - Human Capital - Digital Inclusion and Skills (PDF)

Documents 2017

  • Digital Inclusion and Skills in the EU 2017 (slides pdf)
  • Methodological note (pdf)

Documents 2016

  • Digital Inclusion and Skills in the EU 2016 (ppt)
  • Methodological note (pdf)

Documents 2015

  • Digital Inclusion and Skills in the EU 2015 (ppt/pdf)
  • Background Document on the Digital Skills Indicator 2015 (pdf)

Documents 2014

  • Digital Inclusion and Skills in the EU 2014 (ppt/pdf)
  • Measuring Digital Skills across the EU: EU wide indicators of Digital Competence (read more)

Documents 2013

  • Internet use and skills (pdf)
  • Study for EC: Survey of schools - ICT in Education (read more)
    This study collected and benchmarked information from 31 European countries (EU27, HR, ICE, NO and TR) on the access, use, competence and attitudes of students and teachers regarding ICT in schools
  • Press Release of the study (read more)
  • Please consult the study data in our download data section 

Documents 2012

  • Monitoring digital competencies (pdf)

Documents 2011

  • Monitoring digital competencies (pdf)


Digital Economy and Society Index: 5 tips to enjoy it over summer

Holidays can be an ideal opportunity to explore data and insights about Europe’s digital economy and society. The following 5 tips help curious readers to learn details about the European Digital Single Market make the best of the recently updated Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI).

I-DESI 2018: How digital is Europe compared to other major world economies?

The International Digital Economy and Society Index (I-DESI) provides an overall assessment of where the EU stands, compared to non-EU economies, in its progress towards a digital society and economy. First created in 2013, I-DESI compares the average performance of EU member States with 17 non-EU countries, using a similar methodology to the EU DESI index. It measures performance in five dimensions or policy areas: connectivity, human capital (digital skills), use of Internet by citizens, integration of technology and digital public services.

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