Trust in Digital Government

Denmark is one of the most digital countries in the world and at the same time, one of the countries with the highest level of trust in public authorities. Citizen’s trust in public digital services is an important measurement for how citizens experience digital government.

Digital public services play a major role in the relationship between citizens and digital government. Today, many citizens primarily meet the public sector through digital services. Through these services, citizens are able to e.g. register a new address, get a digital driver’s license, see their medical results, order a new passport etc.

In the digital government, citizens need to trust that e.g. public digital services are working, that mail from the public sector arrives on time and that data is handled safely, and used for an appropriate purpose.

Trust in digital government is based on citizens’ digital competences, citizens’ view of authorities and their experience with public digital services.

Therefore, it is essential, that public authorities demonstrate, that they are capable of providing high quality digital services and the necessary support for citizens.

Analysis on trust in digital government

In both 2021 and 2022, the Agency for Digital Government completed an extensive analysis on The Danish population’s experience with and trust in the digital public sector. The publications analysed the difference in trust levels across population groups and the correlation between trust and those, who have difficulty navigating the digital public sector.

The Agency for Digital Government finds it important to understand the population’s digital encounters with the public sector, in order to gain insight into how citizens’ trust is affected by public digital services. This is essential in order to provide high quality and secure services and give the right help to those, who find it difficult to be in contact with the public sector digitally.

Key findings in Trust in Digital Government 2022

The trust in Danish digital government is generally high. 77 pct. of the population between 15 and 89 years of age agree or highly agree that they generally trust public digital services. Only 8 pct. disagree or highly disagree that they trust public digital services.

Compared to 2021, the Danish population has a slightly more negative perception of the public sectors skills to and intentions with developing public digital services. Furthermore, fewer agree with the statement that it is easy to gain insight into their personal information, and that they have good experiences with using public digital services.

From 2021 to 2022, there has been a slight increase in the number of people, who prefer to use public digital services. In 2022, 74 pct. of the population between 15 and 89 years of age agree or highly agree that they prefer to use public digital services when interacting with the public sector

The analysis shows, that approximately 17 pct. of the Danish population can be said to be challenged in regards to using public digital services, as they either have few digital competences, low knowledge of the public sector or both. For a part of this group, contact with the public sector will be challenging regardless of it being digital or analog.

About ‘Trust in Digital Government 2021 and 2022’

The analyses are based on data from Statistics Denmark’s survey on it-usage in the Danish population from 2021 and 2022.

The survey from 2022 has 2029 respondents between 15 and 89 years of age. The sample is representative for the Danish population.

The survey is developed in collaboration with Statistics Denmark, the DaneAge Association and the Agency for Digital Government. The data was gathered from April to August 2022.