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The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is a composite index that summarises relevant indicators on Europe’s digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU Member States, across five main dimensions: Connectivity, Human Capital, Use of Internet, Integration of Digital Technology, and Digital Public Services. Since 2014, the European Commission has been monitoring Member States’ digital progress through DESI Index. Each year, DESI includes country profiles which support Member States in identifying areas requiring priority action, offering a European-level analysis across key digital areas.

DESI's Human Capital dimension focuses specifically on skills, employment and trends in the labour market and in education. It offers comparative data on the way European use the internet and digital devices (basic digital skills) and activities involving more advanced skills in the area of information and communication technology (ICT). DESI also tracks the number of graduates in the field, % of employees in the ICT sector, and others. 

DESI 2021 graphics


The index offers data on the digitalisation and competitiveness of each Member State and helps policymakers, public officials, governments and regional administrations and municipalities to adapt areas of priority and invest in them on an evidence-based approach. It can also assist authorities and lawmakers in developing solutions and measures, which reflect the current trends in the employment market and meet the demands of the future. 

As the index offers information on a variety of trends related to the labour market and overall business environment, it could be useful to companies and organisations looking to expand their operations into other countries and delve into certain market trends. Finally, DESI can be of interest to citizens who want to compare the extent to which their Member State of origin has developed and discover aggregated data on performance, digitalisation, skills level, and others. 

DESI 2021

On 12 November 2021 the European Commission published the DESI 2021 report, which contains important updates reflecting the major changes occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The new reports are mainly based on 2020 data, with the aim to provide some insight into key developments of the state of digital economy and society after the first year of the pandemic in Europe.

This year's edition also reflects the two major new policy initiatives launched to impact digital transformation in the EU in the coming years: Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and the Digital Decade Compasswith specific information on the new measures to boost digital transformation adopted by each EU member state. In particular, The DESI country reports incorporate a summary overview of the digital investments and reforms in the Recovery and Resilience Plans for the 22 plans that have already been adopted by the Council.

Digital skills resource details

Target audience
Digital skills for the labour force.
Digital skills for ICT professionals and other digital experts.
Digital skills in education.
Digital skills for all
Digital technology / specialisation
Digital skill level
Digital Expert
Geographic scope - Country
Industry - field of education and training
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) not further defined
Target language
Type of initiative
EU institutional initiative

DESI's methodology is described in the thematic chapters, accompanying each dimension and related indicators. 

Skills resource type