10 reasons why Estonia is the first digital nation.

Have you heard about the ex-Soviet European country that has jumped into the public palette for becoming the first digital nation? It is not propaganda or publicity: here we tell you why Estonia has become an example of government and digital life.

1. Almost half of the citizens in Estonia voted online in the last elections.

46.7% of citizens in Estonia voted online in the last elections. Image: Element5 Digital / Unsplash

The online voting system of this nation was one of the pioneers of the world in 2005. In the last elections, 46.7% of the population voted online.

You could say that the Estonian i-Voting system is a source of national pride. It actually makes a great difference, of course beyond the convenience of voting online.

For example, a citizen can change his vote as many times as he wants: the last cyber-clipboard is the one that will be taken into account at the end of the voting week.

2. State services are digitized, in a 99%

46.7% of citizens in Estonia voted online in the last elections . Photo: Madelin Ramirez

In Estonia you can do all the procedures or formalities online, except getting married, divorced or making the purchase or sale of real estate.

In this post, we commented on the services that Estonian citizens have access to, from their mobile screen.

All that digitization has been possible because the electronic signature is highly reliable.

3. The identification system is eminently digital

The identification system is eminently digital . Photo: E-Estonia

In 2002, the country launched a digital identification system. This consists of an identity document with a chip with information and a 384-bit ECC public key encryption.

99% of the population has moved their identity document to a Smart-ID format, and 67% of that total benefits daily from the possibilities of a digital identification method with electronic signature.

4. Estonia ranks 11th in the world in the mobile network stability test

The mobile network in Estonia is highly reliable for data and voice. Photo: Madelin Ramirez

A study places Estonia among the first 15 countries in the world with the highest stability of its 3G and 4G mobile network.

Good cellular coverage is of state interest; it could not be any other way considering the multiple services they perform online.

The most powerful telephone companies in Estonia are: Telia, Elisa and Tele2.

5. The health system is fully digitalized, including the medical records

Medical appointments, prescriptions, and medical records … all of that is digitalized in Estonia. Photo: National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

The digital health management system unified all the databases of each health institution. With the Electronic Health Record, you save considerable time in waiting rooms and gain electiveness for emergency diagnoses, all thanks to the records available in each of the health centers.

In addition, there is a system of digital prescriptions, through which these are purchased with medical authorization, but without papers.

6. It is a friendly country toward digital entrepreneurship.

Estonia stimulates the development of technology companies. Photo: Madelin Ramírez

Estonia actively supports the creation of microenterprises with original ideas.

Moreover, foreign citizens can easily process an Estonian electronic residence and register their company in the market of that European country. This initiative is clearly a call for innovators from all over the world.

It has had four unicorn companies: Skype, Transferwise, Taxify and Playtech. And that is a source of national pride as well.

7. Government sessions are held through an online system, called e-Cabinet

With this government tool, ministers can check their agenda or even vote before a meeting starts, from their own devices and with total security.

There are many facilities that this system provides for the optimization of time and resources for the administrative management of Estonia.

For this reason, the levels of credibility and transparency of citizens in respect to government management have increased.

8. Estonia applies methods of artificial intelligence in services for social benefits

“Kratt report” is the name of the project where the benefits of artificial intelligence to boost the Estonian economy are studied.

Interestingly enough, that name was given to the program by a mythical Estonian creature that was very faithful to its master, but could be dangerous if left idle.

9. Education has also focused on e-learning methods

Education in Estonia also uses digital systems. Photo: Jacqueline Kelly / Unsplash

The portal e-Schoolbag has proved itself as successful, because last year Estonia topped the European ranking for PISA (Program for International Student Assessment), which demonstrated the high level of Estonian students, a low impact of social differences in school performance, and a marked vocational interest in careers with a technological profile among young people.

10. Saved hours of human work are: 844

Thanks to all the facilities implemented for the electronic government, a total of 844 hours are saved in administrative management.

Perhaps now you know Estonian life a little better and why it has recently been called the first digital nation. What do you think?

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Gabriela M. Fernández

Journalist with a vocation, doesn't lose hope of learning how to program. Hardcore cinephile, TV-show and technology addict... we could say a full-fledged millennial.

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