on November 8, 2021

Why is Estonia considered the most advanced digital society in the world?

on November 8, 2021

Por que a Estônia é considerada a sociedade digital mais avançada do mundo?

When researching Estonia it is impossible that the topic digital society does not appear as one of the main highlights. With just With a population of 1.3 million, the country draws the attention of giant nations for its advanced technology and easy access. But how exactly does it work and Why is Estonia considered the most advanced digital society in the world? Learn more about it in this post! 

In 1991, after regaining its independence from the Soviet Union, the Estonia initiated a series of reforms to modernize the economy and from the start, a digital approach was chosen because it was cheaper.

When Estonia started building the information-based society, there was no digital data being collected about citizens, and the general population did not have the internet or even devices to use it. Therefore, the country needed to invest in information technology solutions to achieve its goals. 

For example, in 2000 the “e-Tax Board” was launched, which made it possible to file tax electronically; and in 2001, the “Population Register”, the country's database, launched to obtain basic information about every person living in Estonia. 

At the moment, 99% of government services in Estonia are available online 24/7 (marriages and divorces need to be in person), and they certainly make all the difference for those who live in the country. You can access prescriptions and medical records, open or close a business, transfer a vehicle, vote and much more, all electronically.

Check out more details about some of these initiatives:

1. e-ID

In 2002, Estonia launched a high-tech national identification system. Much more than a photo ID, the mandatory national card also provides digital access to all Estonian electronic services. As a result, 98% of Estonians have the ID card and 67% use it regularly. Some examples of how it is used regularly:

  • National health insurance card;
  • Proof of identification when accessing bank accounts;
  • For digital signatures;
  • For online voting;
  • To check medical records;
  • For tax declaration.

2. e-Tax

e-Tax is the electronic tax return system, and each year about 98% of all tax returns are filed electronically.

Using their identification, the taxpayer accesses the system, analyzes their data on pre-filled forms, makes the necessary changes and approves the tax return form. The process typically takes three to five minutes. Even one-click income tax return has been possible since 2015 – the data that is already in the system is displayed to the user along with the calculated result, so all the user has to do is click on the confirmation button. Believe it or not: your income tax return can take less than a minute in Estonia.

3. e-Health Records

The Electronic Health Record (e-Health Record) is a national system that integrates data from different Estonian healthcare providers to create a common registry that all patients can access online. This tool allows clinicians to easily access a patient's records from a single electronic file, so clinicians can read test results as they are entered, including image files such as X-rays, even from remote hospitals. .

Additionally, in an emergency situation, a physician can use a patient's identification code to read time-critical information such as blood type, allergies, recent treatments, medication in use, or pregnancy. 

These are some of the initiatives that make Estonia considered the most digital country in the world. If you want to bring your company to Estonia or if you are an IT professional and want to work for a European company, contact us by clicking on here.

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