5 Forward Thinking European Countries Ready For Gen Z

Countries need to prepare themselves for Gen Z, the most digitalization focused generation yet to enter our global economy. Some nations in Europe are already ahead of others in terms of strategic planning for the foundation of an optimal Gen Z environment. Therefore, today we will look at 5 forward thinking European countries that are prepared to embrace this new generation, with digitalization and the digital first approach serving as priority ranking mechanisms. 


Estonia is a premier digital hub in the EU, emphasizing digitalization with mandated policy frameworks like the Programme for Digital Focus in the Estonian Lifelong Learning Strategy 2020. As per the Google Index, “Estonia takes a comprehensive approach to Digitalisation; 95% of teachers use digital technology daily in their courses and the use of digital technology beyond the classroom is encouraged through homework as well as in adult education.” Though Estonia only locks in #62 as part of the 2019 Generation Z City Index, the fact that the nation is digitally inclined and harnesses an entrepreneurial culture makes it a forward-thinking Gen Z-ready country. 


Similar to Estonia, Finland is a digital powerhouse with national policies like the Digital Finland Framework, and Finland places a nationwide emphasis on digital skillbuilding for its population. Moreover, the Google Index points to the following, “Several ministries are coordinating together to ensure that Finland is a leading country in future learning and inspiring education. In additional to national policies (e.g. Digital Finland Framework), there are also many regional policies and projects to promote digitalisation at the municipal level.” Finland also scores relatively high on the 2019 Generation Z City Index, and wins the favor of Gen Z because of its progressive social policies and inclusive human-centric framework. 


While Denmark’s Digital Life Ranking receives a high mark, its Digital Readiness Score lags slightly because of strict government regulations. According to the Google Index, “Digitalisation has been an important strategic priority for the Danish government, though digital changes in the education system have been slow to take root owing to regulatory barriers and other factors.” However, Denmark’s progressive policies like its Digital Strategy 2016–2020 and human-centric approach to society, as well as overall digital capabilities, shape it as a Gen Z prepared country. 


Netherlands is known as a haven for the youth, and receives a high average ranking across the mentioned indexes. The government has a legitimate digitalization strategy in place (as in the case of the other nations in this document), called the Dutch Digitalisation Strategy, and according to Google “The Netherlands has successfully updated the curriculum to increase digital literacy in primary and secondary education. A key priority has been the provision of digital learning materials and IT infrastructure via funding opportunities or joint purchasing of ICT equipment.” All of this information makes it clear that the Netherlands is already embracing a Gen Z environment. 


Sweden ranks the highest on the 2019 Generation Z City Index, which comes as no surprise. Gen Z champions Sweden as a global leader in equality and inclusivity, which are top preferences of the True Generation mindset. Moreover, according to the Google Index, “While digitalisation is an explicit part of primary school curricula, schools and teachers have significant autonomy in funding and running courses. This means schools have uneven implementation of digital tools.”

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