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Internet access and use in 2013

19th December 2013 Print

Internet access and use is widespread amongst the EU population. In the EU28, 79% of households had access to the internet in 2013 and 76% had a broadband internet connection, compared with 55% and 42% respectively in 2007. For most individuals in the EU28, using the internet has become a regular activity, with 62% of individuals using it every day or almost every day and a further 10% at least once a week. On the other hand, 21% of individuals reported in 2013 that they have never used the internet, compared with 37% in 2007.
With regard to the use of e-government, 41% of individuals in the EU28 used the internet to interact with public authorities or services in 2013. Reasons for this interaction reported by EU28 e-government users were income tax declarations (44% of internet users who interacted with public authorities), requests for personal documents (20%), claiming social security benefits (16%) and enrolment in higher education or university (9%).
These data published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, represent only a small part of the results of a survey on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) usage in households and by individuals in the EU28 Member States, Iceland, Norway and Turkey. In addition to internet access and use and e-government, the survey covers a variety of indicators such as mobile use of the internet, e-commerce and other activities carried out by individuals. The findings are used for monitoring several EU policies, in particular the Digital Agenda for Europe.
Level of internet access ranges from 54% of households in Bulgaria to 95% in the Netherlands
In most Member States, the level of internet access was high in 2013, with shares of more than 90% in the Netherlands (95% of households), Luxembourg (94%), Denmark and Sweden (both 93%). The lowest shares were registered in Bulgaria (54%), Greece (56%) and Romania (58%).
Broadband internet access enables higher speed when browsing and performing activities over the internet. In 2013, in every Member State at least half of households had a broadband connection. Finland (88%) registered the highest share of broadband connections, followed by Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden (in 2012) and the United Kingdom (all 87%) and Germany (85%).
More than 80% of individuals use the internet daily in Denmark, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Sweden
In most Member States, the majority of individuals used the internet every day or almost every day, with the highest proportions registered in 2013 in Denmark (84% of individuals), the Netherlands (83%), Luxembourg (82%), Sweden (81%), Finland (80%) and the United Kingdom (78%). The highest shares of individuals who reported that they used the internet at least once a week, but not every day, were recorded in the Czech Republic (16%), Estonia, Ireland and Austria (all 14%). Around one third or more of individuals in Romania (42%), Bulgaria (41%), Greece (36%), Italy (34%), Portugal (33%), Cyprus and Poland (both 32%) have never used the internet, while in six Member States this proportion was below 10%.
E-government services most used in the Nordic Member States and the Netherlands
More than half of all individuals in Denmark (85%), the Netherlands (79%), Sweden (78%), Finland (69%), France (60%), Luxembourg (56%), Austria (54%) and Slovenia (52%) reported in 2013 that they have used the internet to contact or interact with public authorities and services.
Among those e-government users, making income tax declarations online was one of the main purposes for interaction in 2013, with the highest shares registered in Estonia (82% of e-government users), Denmark (74%), Lithuania (70%) and Portugal (69%). Other major purposes were to request personal documents online, with the highest shares recorded in Luxembourg (39%), Spain and Malta (both 34%), Sweden (31%) and Greece (30%), and to claim social security benefits, with the highest shares registered in Sweden (32%), France (30%), Romania and Slovenia (both 27%). The highest shares of e-government users who used websites to enrol in higher education or university were found in Slovenia (24%), Bulgaria (23%) and Italy (21%).