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A digital shift throughout the Balkans

July 12th, 2021

Digital transformation in the Balkans is powered by youthful, dynamic, and information-hungry people with an appetite to improve their digital skills and literacy.

According to the 2021 Balkan Barometer Public Opinion report, a survey of approximately 6,000 Balkan citizens, roughly 88% of survey participants reporting daily internet use to keep up to date with global developments, make online purchases, communicate with one another and access government services. Of this, around 39% reported using the internet for two to three hours a day, while more than a quarter use an internet platform for at least one hour each day.

Following up on our previous blog post, which reports the challenges of Covid-19 from the business sentiment perspective, the Public Opinion report analyses how the citizens of the region have responded to the pandemic and what socio-economic trends have been triggered by it.

There is no doubt that Covid has focused the minds of people throughout the region, centred on the joint pillars of economic development and employment. This is no different than any other region in the world. Yet, despite the concerns, there has not been a rise in unemployment levels for the region.

The labour market in the Balkans has seen dramatic change over the past year, driven by an increase in the use of web-based technologies. According to the research, 39% of the region’s employers are now required to advance digital skills. This coincides with an increase in public awareness of the need to be digitally competent for personal and professional development.

One important data point from an educational and eLearning perspective is that the internet is being used as a major source to learn about digitalisation and improve digital skills. There’s no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has reshaped the economy and led to what many people are calling the ‘pivot point for digital transformation’.

Zvilo has always believed that the Balkan people are amongst the most internet literate in the world, looking for solutions to access information, education, products and financial solutions, things that people in other regions simply take for granted.

This youthful, dynamic, information-hungry population is the future of the region.

About the Balkan Barometer

The Balkan Barometer is an annual research project undertaken by the Research Cooperation Council (RCC), funded in part by the EU. For access to the full Public Opinion report, as well as the Business Opinion report, visit the Balkan Barometer website.

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