Half of European Union Population Uses the Web Regularly

Nearly half of the population in European Union countries use the Internet at least once a week, according to data released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Communities.

In EU countries, forty-seven percent of individuals use the Internet regularly, which is classified as at least once a week from home, work, or another location. More men (51 percent) than women (43 percent) use the Internet on a regular basis. Age also influences Internet usage habits. Seventy-three percent of individuals aged 16 to 24 use the Internet regularly; 54 percent of adults aged 25 to 54 use it regularly; and 20 percent of adults 55 to 74 use it regularly.


European Internet Usage by Individuals, Q1 2006 (%)
Use the Internet at Least Once a Week
Total Men Women 16-24 Years Old 25-54 Years Old 55-74 Years Old
EU25 47 51 43 73 54 20
Belgium 58 62 54 82 67 27
Czech Republic N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Denmark 78 80 76 94 86 56
Germany 59 65 54 83 69 30
Estonia 56 57 56 90 64 U
Greece 23 27 18 47 27 4
Spain 39 44 35 70 45 10
France 39 42 37 71 47 U
Ireland 44 45 42 59 48 17
Italy 31 36 26 55 37 9
Cyprus 29 32 27 55 31 7
Latvia 46 47 45 86 50 12
Lithuania 38 38 37 77 39 7
Luxembourg 65 76 55 89 71 37
Hungary 42 43 40 74 47 14
Malta N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Netherlands 76 82 71 96 86 46
Austria 55 61 49 80 63 24
Poland 34 36 32 71 35 7
Portugal 31 35 28 68 34 6
Slovenia 47 51 42 81 54 12
Slovakia 43 47 39 72 47 9
Finland 71 72 70 94 82 38
Sweden 80 84 76 94 89 56
United Kingdom 57 63 51 72 66 33
Iceland 84 86 82 96 90 59
Norway 77 80 73 97 84 48
Notes: 1. EU25 excludes member states for which data is not available.
2. Individuals used the Internet at least once a week.
3. N/A – Data is not available.
4. U – Data is not reliable.

Within EU25 member states, 52 percent of households had access to the Internet in Q1 2006, compared to 48 percent in Q1 2005. In that period, 32 percent had a broadband connection, up from 23 percent the previous year.

The countries with the highest household penetration of Internet use are the Netherlands (80 percent); Denmark (79 percent); Sweden (77 percent); and Luxembourg (70 percent). The lowest Internet use penetration exists in Greece (23 percent); Slovakia (27 percent); Hungary (32 percent); Lithuania (35 percent); and Portugal (35 percent).

Household broadband penetration is highest in the Netherlands (66 percent); Denmark (63 percent); Finland (53 percent); and Sweden (51 percent). The lowest adoption rates of broadband in the home occur in Greece (4 percent); Slovakia (11 percent); Cyprus (12 percent); and Ireland (13).

Business uptake of Internet access and broadband was also counted in the survey. In Q1 of this year, 94 percent of EU enterprises with 10 or more employees had Internet access, up from 91 percent in early 2005.

Member countries with the highest degree of Internet access were Finland (99 percent); Denmark (98 percent); Austria (98 percent); and the Netherlands (97 percent). All other countries except Latvia (80 percent); Cyprus (86 percent); Lithuania (88 percent); and Poland (89 percent) had at least a 90 percent rate of Internet adoption.

Enterprise broadband adoption is highest in Sweden (89 percent); Finland (89 percent); Spain (87 percent); and France (86 percent). Broadband access is lowest among enterprise businesses in Poland (46 percent); Cyprus (55 percent); Lithuania (57 percent); and Latvia (59 percent).


European Internet Access by Households and Enterprises, Q1 2006 (%)
Proportion With Internet Access Proportion With Broadband Connection
Households Enterprises Households Enterprises
EU25 52 94 32 75
Belgium 54 95 48 84
Czech Republic N/A 95 N/A 69
Denmark 79 98 63 83
Germany 67 95 34 73
Estonia 46 N/A 37 N/A
Greece 23 N/A 4 N/A
Spain 39 93 29 87
France 41 94 30 86
Ireland 50 94 13 61
Italy 40 93 16 70
Cyprus 37 86 12 55
Latvia 42 80 23 59
Lithuania 35 88 19 57
Luxembourg 70 93 44 76
Hungary 32 N/A 22 N/A
Malta N/A N/A N/A N/A
Netherlands 80 97 66 82
Austria 52 98 33 69
Poland 36 89 22 46
Portugal 35 N/A 24 N/A
Slovenia 54 96 34 75
Slovakia 27 93 11 61
Finland 65 99 53 89
Sweden 77 96 51 89
United Kingdom 63 92 44 77
Iceland 83 99 72 95
Norway 69 94 57 86
Notes:
1. EU25 excludes member states for which data is not available.
2. The reference period for enterprises is January.
3. N/A – Data is not available.
Source: Eurostat, 2006

The data are from a survey conducted in households with at least one person aged 16 to 74 during Q1 2006. Households were asked about Internet access by any member of the household at home and Internet use at the home and other locations. The enterprise data are part of a survey conducted with businesses employing at least 10 people in January 2006. Activities covered manufacturing, construction, distributive trades, hotels and accommodation, transport and communication, real estate, renting and business activities, motion picture and video activities, and radio and television activities.

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