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E-government - statistics & facts

E-government (or electronic government) refers to the use of information and communication technology for government services and functions. It involves a wide range of digital interactions between governments and their citizens, world leaders, businesses, and international organizations. Due to the ever-increasing number of internet users and the continuous global uptick in online usage, this technology-driven form of governance has become almost indispensable in recent years: All around the world, governments are establishing online presences, launching digital services, and embracing e-government as part of the digital transformation of everyday life.

World e-government leaders according to the E-Government Development Index (EGDI)

E-government adaptation is advancing worldwide. According to the E-Government Development Index (EGDI), a tool that assesses the online government development level in UN member states, the average global EGDI score stood at 0.6 in 2020. Based on this ranking, Denmark is the global e-government leader, followed by South Korea and Estonia. While Europe continues to top the list, regions like Africa have seen the most visible progress in e-government adaption. Nevertheless, persistent gaps in infrastructure development remain the main barrier to digital government implementation on the continent.

E-government services

Governments provide online services to increase efficiency and transparency, reach audience bases, and facilitate e-participation. Common e-government activities include the publication of information and data on government websites, communication between citizens and agencies via digital platforms, and the provision of online transactional services. Globally, the most frequently offered online services include applying for a driver’s license or personal identity card and submitting income taxes. There has also been a substantial increase in the number of online services geared towards vulnerable groups in recent years. By facilitating the use of online offers for disadvantaged populations, governments ensure digital inclusion and promote e-participation.

Social media and the impact of COVID-19 on e-government

Thanks to the global proliferation of mobile devices, many e-government services are now available via smartphone. Some of the most frequently used digital channels are social media platforms, as they allow users to share information and communicate with official government channels. This is particularly true for the United States, where social media and politics are strongly intertwined. In 2019, Twitter was the most popular social media platform among U.S. Congress members, with a combined 400,000 tweets posted by the House and Senate. As social networks are frequently used to spread misinformation, however, they are considered the least trustworthy sources of information worldwide. As for news and updates about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, citizens primarily trust news organizations, national government sources, and global health organizations like the WHO to deliver reliable content online. Overall, digital visits to U.S. government sources increased significantly in 2020. Therefore, the pandemic has not only emphasized the need for digital solutions in everyday life and reinvigorated the role of e-government, but it has also exposed the ongoing digital divide.


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