Home Remains the Place to Go Online

Data collected by Nielsen//NetRatings across Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America, found more than 295 million people across 20 countries in those regions have Internet access from a home PC.

The findings are from the new Nielsen//NetRatings Global Internet Trends service. The Q2 2000 service covers data collected between April and June 2000 across Europe and Asia Pacific, drawn from more than 25,000 surveys conducted using consistent research methodology. The Q2 service covers: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand.

Number of People Age 2+ With
Internet Access Via Home PC

(in millions)
US 136.9
Japan* 26.3
UK 19.4
Germany 14.8
Canada* 13.1
Italy 11.1
Australia 7.6
Netherlands 6.8
France 6.5
Spain 4.6
Sweden 4.5
Belgium 2.7
Switzerland 2.4
Denmark 2.3
Norway 2.2
Austria 1.7
Singapore 1.7
Finland 1.6
New Zealand 1.3
Ireland 0.8
* May estimate
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings

Nielsen//NetRatings also found that in Q2 2000, more people in every country except Switzerland had Internet access at home than at work.

“Rates of access at work are lower than access at home in most countries,” said David Day, director of analytics, ACNielsen eRatings.com. “This is particularly the case in the Netherlands, where the home access rate is almost twice that of work, unlike Switzerland, where the access rates across both locations are about even. Usage rates at home and work tend to follow the same pattern as access, again except Switzerland, where the proportion of people who have surfed the Internet at work is greater than those who have surfed at home.”

Day also noted that most households with Internet access use only one source to gain access to the Internet. In Europe overall, only 22 percent of households have access via more than one source. Multiple sources are most common in Switzerland, where close to half the households with access connect through more than one device, while almost no house in France has access via more than one source. In Asia Pacific, most households have only one source at home with which to access the Internet. Multiple sources of Internet access are more common in New Zealand, where nearly one-quarter of households have two or more devices with access to the Internet.

At an individual level, the adult populations (age 16+) of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden have the highest levels of access to the Internet from any location, including work. In addition, greater proportions of their populations have used the Internet and remain frequent users, more likely to browse the Internet for product and pricing information and registering among the most prolific online purchasers.

About half of the households with Internet access in Norway, Denmark and Sweden have had Internet access at least since 1998. Among Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, the Singaporean market is the most mature with a greater proportion of people having gained access to the Internet either in 1998 or prior to 1998.

“Finland’s relatively lower penetration rate via home PC compared to the other Nordics is a function of the much lower proportion of households with a fixed telephone line,” Day said. “Finland has experienced a marked decrease in fixed line telephone penetration in households over recent years, with a corresponding sharp increase in the penetration of mobile telephones. While this has impacted the growth in static Internet access, Finland will be well placed when the anticipated increase in access to the Internet via other devices such as WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) takes off.”

Day noted that in Europe, the Nordic countries as a group tended to exhibit the highest levels of browsing online for products. However, the UK had the highest browse-to-purchase ratio of all the European countries, with 64 percent of UK Internet users who browsed having made a purchase in the past six months. The lowest levels of browsing activity were observed in Belgium/Luxembourg, Italy, France, and Spain.

In Asia Pacific, browsing for product and price information on the Internet is a more firmly entrenched activity for Australians and New Zealanders than for Singaporeans. Online purchasing is also more likely to happen in Australia and New Zealand than in Singapore, as nearly 25 percent of adults 16 or older in Australia and New Zealand have browsed the Internet for pricing or other information on products and services, and slightly more than one in 10 Australians have then gone on to make a purchase. In Singapore, only 14 percent of people 16 or older has browsed the Internet for products, with only 4 percent going on to make a purchase.

Percent of People Age 16+ Shopping Online*
(past six months)
Nation Browsing for
Products Online
Products Online
Australia 23% 11%
Austria 21% 10%
9% 4%
Denmark 31% 11%
Finland 22% 9%
France 5% 2%
Germany 18% 10%
Ireland 10% 4%
Italy 6% 2%
Netherlands 18% 5%
New Zealand 23% 8%
Norway 23% 10%
Singapore 14% 4%
Spain 5% 1%
Sweden 31% 17%
Switzerland 23% 11%
UK 14% 9%
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings
* Among population 16+ in households with fixed line telephone(s)
and who have browsed the Internet for products and pricing

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