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How's Life in the Digital Age?

Opportunities and Risks of the Digital Transformation for People's Well-being

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This report documents how the ongoing digital transformation is affecting people’s lives across the 11 key dimensions that make up the How’s Life? Well-being Framework (Income and wealth, Jobs and earnings, Housing, Health status, Education and skills, Work-life balance, Civic engagement and governance, Social connections, Environmental quality, Personal security, and Subjective well-being). A summary of existing studies highlights 39 key impacts of the digital transformation on people’s well-being. The review shows that these impacts can be positive as digital technologies expand the boundaries of information availability and enhance human productivity, but can also imply risks for people’s well-being, ranging from cyber-bullying to the emergence of disinformation or cyber-hacking. In sum, making digitalisation work for people’s well-being would require building equal digital opportunities, widespread digital literacy and strong digital security. Continued research and efforts in improving statistical frameworks will be needed to expand our knowledge on the many topics covered in this report.

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How's life in the digital age in Latvia?

Latvia’s exposure to both the opportunities and risks of the digital transformation is below the OECD average, which reflects the country’s limited degree of digitalisation relative to other OECD countries. Almost 80% of households in Latvia now have Internet access at home, which is just above the OECD average. However, 82% of individuals in Latvia report having used the internet in the last 12 months, which is slightly below the OECD average. Only 7% of people in Latvia use the Internet to express political opinions online, and an equal figure uses it for medical appointments – both are below the OECD average. The major risks associated with internet in Latvia are those that affect children, 24% of which are identified as extreme Internet users, and cyberbullying is more common in Latvia than it is in most other OECD countries, just like in neighbouring Lithuania. The main opportunity of the digital age that stands out in Latvia is in the use of e-government services, which are used by 69% of people.

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