India breaks into top 100 in UN’s E-Government index

India has jumped 22 places to break into the top 100 of the United Nation’s E-Government Index 2018. India, which was ranked 118 in 2014, jumped 11 places to be ranked 96 in 2018. The jump shows how digital technologies and innovations are impacting the public sector and changing people’s everyday lives.

India breaks into top 100 in UN’s E-Government index
India breaks into top 100 in UN’s E-Government index

India has jumped 22 places to break into the top 100 of the United Nation’s E-Government Index 2018.

The E-Government survey is released by the United Nations in every two years. The 2018 edition: 'Gearing E-Government to Support Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies' was launched on July 19, 2018.

India, which was ranked 118 in 2014, jumped 11 places to be ranked 96 in 2018. The jump shows how digital technologies and innovations are impacting the public sector and changing people’s everyday lives.

What is UN E-Governance Index?

The E-Government Development Index (EGDI) is a composite index based on the weighted average of three normalised indices:

Telecommunications Infrastructure Index (TII): The index is based on data provided by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

Human Capital Index (HCI):
It is based on data provided by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Online Service Index (OSI: It is based on data collected from an independent survey questionnaire, conducted by UNDESA, which assesses the national online presence of all 193 United Nations Member States.

It mainly assesses e-government development at the national level. It measures countries’ use of information and communications technologies to deliver public services.

The Index captures the scope and quality of online services, status of telecommunication infrastructure and existing human capacity.

India’s Score

India scored well on the Online Services sub-index with a score of 0.9514.

However, it performed poorly in the Telecommunication Infrastructure Index, with a score of 0.20091.

On Human Capital Index, India scored far below the world average with a score of 0.6627.

India’s overall score was 0.5484.

EGDI: Key Highlights

Denmark, with an index value of 0.9150, topped the 2018 E-Government Development Survey. It was followed by Australia with 0.9053 score and the Republic of Korea with a value of 0.9010.

The United Kingdom with 0.8999 value and Sweden with 0.8882 value took up the 4th and 5th positions respectively.

In the 2018 index, more countries broke into the top tier of the index¬¬ index values in the range of 0.75 to 1.00 than in 2016 when there were 29 countries in that category.

These countries also lead their respective regional ratings in the Europe, Oceania and Asia.

While the United States of America leads the American continent nations with a global rank of 11, Mauritius leads the nations in Africa with a global rank of 66 and the Republic of Korea leads the Asian nations with 3rd rank.

E-Government Development Index

 Top 10 Countries











Republic of Korea



United Kingdom












New Zealand









The survey reveals that while the European countries lead e-government development globally, the American and Asian countries share almost equal standing in high and middle e-government index levels and many African countries continue to struggle to improve their e-government standing.

Two-thirds of countries in Asia (31 out of 47) and almost half of the American countries (15 out of 35) have above the world average EGDI score of 0.55.

Uruguay is the only Latin American country with Very-High EGDI scores, joining the other two forerunners in the American region- the United States and Canada.

Only 4 countries out of 54 in Africa score higher than the world average EGDI of 0.55, while 14 countries have very low EGDI scores below 0.25.

In Oceania, Australia and New Zealand are the only two countries that have high scores of 0.9053 and 0.8806 respectively. The scores for the other 12 countries range between 0.2787 and 0.5348, which is below the world average of 0.55.

Other Details

For the first time, the 2018 E-governance study also focused on local e¬Government development in 40 cities across the world.

This included assessment of municipal portals of 7 cities in Africa, 6 in America, 13 in Asia, 12 in Europe, and 2 in Oceania.

Among the assessed municipal portals, the ones that emerged as the top three leaders include Moscow, Cape Town and Tallinn.

Globally, almost two-thirds of 193 United Nations member states now demonstrate a high -level of e-government development with EGDI values between the range of 0.5 and 1.

On the other hand, the share of countries with low e-¬government levels, between the range of 0 to 0.25, has dropped by a significant 50 percent, from 32 countries to 16 countries in 2018.

Digital Divide

Generally, there is a positive correlation between the country’s income level and its e-government ranking. For example, the high-income countries have very-high or high EGDI scores.

However, this is not universal, as 22 upper middle-income and 39 lower-middle income countries have EGDI scores below the global EGDI average and 10 countries in the lower middle-income group have scores above the global EGDI average.

In 2018, for the first time, the main contributor of EDGI scores improvement in all income groups was the development of online services. It revealed that there was a steady progress in improving e-government and public services provision online.

All 193 member states of the United Nations were found to have national portals and back-end systems to automate core administrative tasks and 140 were found to provide at least one transactional service online.

The three most commonly used online service were found to be payment for utilities (140 countries), submitting income taxes (139 countries) and registration of new business (126 countries).

Increasingly, more countries provide online services targeted to the most vulnerable groups and the number of countries providing online services using emails, SMS feed updates, mobile apps and downloadable forms has also been increasing in all sectors.

Despite the gains and major investments made by many countries in e-¬government development, the digital divide persists.

Among the total 16 nations with low scores, 14 were African and belong to the least developed countries group and the regional average index scores for countries in Africa (0.34) and Oceania (0.46) were found to be significantly lower than the world average EGDI of 0.55.

The figures indicate that the digital divide could deepen between people who have access to the Internet and online services and those who do not, which could hamper the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development of leaving no one behind.

E-Participation sub-index

India was among the top 15 nations in the e-participation sub-index with a score of 0.955.

India also emerged as the sub-region leader in this category.

Denmark, on the other hand, was found to be the world leader, both on E-Government index and E-Participation sub-index.


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