Latvia's 'digital intensity' ranking has room for improvement

According to fresh figures from Eurostat, in 2021, 56% of EU enterprises reached a basic level of digital intensity – which entails the use of at least four of twelve selected digital technologies (such as using any AI technology; having e-commerce sales account for at least 1% of total turnover; etc.). A basic level includes businesses with a low, high and very high level of the Digital Intensity Index (DII), excluding the very low level.

Of small and medium-sized enterprises in the EU (SMEs), 55% reached a basic level of digital intensity compared with 88% of large enterprises. 

Only 3% of EU SMEs reached a very high level of digital intensity while 18% reached a high level. Most of the SMEs recorded low (34%) or very low (45%) digital intensity levels.

According to one of the targets of the Digital Compass – the EU’s vision for the decade of the digital transformation - more than 90% of EU SMEs should reach at least a basic level of digital intensity by 2030. In 2021, EU SMEs were 35 percentage points (pp) shy of the ambition set in the Digital Compass.

The biggest proportion of enterprises reaching a very high level of the DII was in Finland, Denmark and Malta (all 10%) and Sweden (9%). Meanwhile, Romania and Bulgaria were lagging behind with around three quarters of enterprises characterised by a very low digital intensity (77% and 74%, respectively).

As far as benchmarking Latvia against the rest of the EU in concerned, the figures were as follows: 61% very low, 26% low, 12% high, 2% very high digital intensity. that places it in the bottom half-dozen EU member states, well behind both Estonia and Lithuania.

Digital intensity in EU businesses, 2021
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