The countries with the fastest internet in the world have been announced for the year. Read our insights and browse the rankings below
If you’re one of the millions of people working in a remote job or pursuing a career as a digital nomad, then internet speed is one of the important factors in your choice of destination.
Internet comparison site Cable has ranked the countries with the fastest broadband internet in the world based on over 1.1 billion speed tests across 224 countries and territories.
It is the fourth year of the assessment and the latest ranking uses data collected in the 12 months up to 30th June 2021 to evaluate internet speed by country.
10 Countries with the fastest internet
Liechtenstein has the fastest broadband in the world with an average speed of 211.26Mbps. Many would argue that having the fastest internet, means having the best internet in the world.
10 Countries with the slowest internet
Turkmenistan has the slowest broadband in the world with an average speed of just 0.50Mbps.
- Equatorial Guinea
- South Sudan
“The acceleration of the fastest countries in the world has finally plateaued this year as they reach FTTP pure fibre saturation. Increases in speed among the elite performers, then, can be attributed in greater part to uptake in many cases than to network upgrades. Meanwhile, though the countries occupying the bottom end of the table still suffer from extremely poor speeds, 2021’s figures do indicate that the situation is improving.”– Dan Howdle, Cable
- The global average broadband internet speed is 28.69Mbps (megabits per second).
- Liechtenstein has maintained the fastest broadband in the world with an average speed of 211.26Mbps.
- Turkmenistan has the slowest broadband in the world with an average speed of just 0.50Mbps.
- It would take over 1.5 hours to download a 5GB movie file in Turkmenistan while someone in Liechtenstein could do it in under three minutes.
- The five countries with the fastest internet have download speeds around 202 times faster than the five slowest.
- 35 of the 50 fastest countries are located in Europe, with seven in Asia, six in North America and two in the Oceania.
- By contrast, 31 of the 50 slowest-performing countries are located in Africa.
- 94 countries or territories have average speeds below 10Mbps, a speed deemed by UK telecoms watchdog Ofcom to be the minimum required to cope with the demands of a typical family or small business.
The internet is getting faster, but…
The average global internet speed is getting faster with the global average increasing by around 20% to 29.79Mbps.
However, it is worth noting that the countries contributing the most to this rise are those in developed nations that have established infrastructure and can therefore roll out the latest technology available.
Comparatively, there is far less development – and therefore less change in availability, rollout and uptake of faster infrastructure – in the bottom half of the ranking compared with the top half.
Generally speaking, the countries with the fastest internet speeds are likely to be smaller and more developed. The larger and less developed a nation is, the slower the internet will likely be.
When it comes to the size of a nation, it is generally much easier to roll out FTTP full fibre broadband and 5G mobile internet to a smaller population and/or across a smaller area.
Region by region
Unsurprisingly, Europe has the world’s highest concentration of countries with the fastest internet. Seven of the top ten countries with the fastest internet are in Europe. Liechtenstein has the fastest broadband in Europe and the world an average speed of 211.26Mbps.
Iceland, Andorra, Monaco and Luxembourg are all close behind. The UK is in 36th place with an average speed of 51.48Mbps.
In Asia, Singapore (8), Japan (9) and Hong Kong (11) the fastest broadband with South Korea some distance behind in 29th place.
The US (10) has the fastest broadband in the Americas with an average speed of 92.42Mbps. Canada (19) is the region’s second-fastest with 79.96Mbps. Generally, Caribbean countries perform well with Aruba (22) the region’s fastest internet with an average speed of 70.66Mbps.
Sub-Saharan Africa is some distance behind the rest of the world when it comes to broadband provision. 49 countries in the region were assessed, with 56 of them in the lowest 50% of countries in the table. South Africa is the fastest African nation in 73rd place with an average speed of 19.94Mbps.
“Europe absolutely dominates the leaderboard once again thanks to largely excellent infrastructure. In all cases, those countries ranking highest are those with a strong focus on pure fibre (FTTP) networks, with those countries dawdling too much on FTTC and ADSL solutions slipping further down year-on-year.”Dan Howdle, Cable
Countries with the fastest internet in Europe
Countries with the fastest internet in Asia
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
Countries with the fastest internet in Africa
- South Africa
- Burkina Faso
- Cote D’Ivoire
Countries with the fastest internet in the Americas
- Trinidad & Tobago
The table below ranks countries by their average download speed in megabits per second (Mbps).
Some countries and territories have been excluded due to insufficient sample sizes.
|53||Trinidad & Tobago||35.81|
|57||Bosnia & Herz||31.72|
|91||Saint Vincent & Gren||14.32|
|95||Saint Kitts & Nevis||12.96|
|117||Antigua & Barbuda||8.69|
|153||Papua New Guinea||5.10|
|178||São Tomé & Príncipe||2.43|
The full Worldwide Broadband Speed League from Cable can be downloaded here.
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