How’s life in the digital age in the United Kingdom?

Overall, the United Kingdom has fully embraced the opportunities of the digital transformation, but it is also highly exposed to the risks, relative to other OECD countries. The United Kingdom performs in the top tier when it comes to access to Internet and Internet use. It has the highest rate of access to digital resources in the classroom, with 90% of students using digital resources, compared to an OECD average of 63%. People in the United Kingdom also make use of online consumption services more than in any other OECD country. Employment in information industries is relatively high, and the labour market returns to ICT skills are above the OECD average. The United Kingdom’s openness to digital transformation has also led to an exposure to risks. The high share of workers with computer-based jobs gives rise to the pitfalls of job stress and worries about work when not working. The level of inequality of uses is relatively high, which means that not everyone makes full use of the breadth of possible online activities. In addition, the risks for children are substantial, with 37% of extreme Internet users among 15-year-olds, the second highest share in the OECD.

Figure 4.35. The digital well-being wheel in the United Kingdom

Note: This wheel depicts the United Kingdom’s relative performance in terms of key opportunities and risks in the context of the digital transformation. The centre of the wheel corresponds to the lowest outcome observed across all OECD countries, while the outer circle corresponds to the highest outcome. For opportunities (in dark blue) longer bars indicate better outcomes, whereas for risks (in yellow), longer bars indicate worse outcomes. If data are missing for any given indicator, the relevant segment of the circle is shaded in white.


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