Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Germany

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Find here the most recent analysis and data by country. A selection of key documents and graphs are shown about topics such as broadband, internet activity and skills, egovernment, ICT in schools, research and innovation, as well as other main indicators.
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Germany has an overall score[1] of 0.51 and ranks 10th out of the 28 EU Member States. In the past year, Germany has improved overall (its general score rose from 0.49 to 0.51) Its connectivity has improved (this is the area where the country performs best). Germany is fully covered by basic broadband services; however it is performing less well in the uptake of fast broadband services. 82% of Germans are regular users of the Internet (compared to 75% of Europeans). They also possess, on average, higher digital skills. Compared to other Europeans, less Germans spend time on the Internet for social activities and online media. But they are well above the European average for activities related to online shopping. As for German business, they could better exploit the possibilities offered by social media and cloud-based applications. Progress can also be made regarding digital public services as only 18% of Germans going online use eGovernment services actively (compared to 33% of European Internet users).

Germany falls into the cluster of medium‑performance[2] countries, where it performs in line with the average.

 

DESIGermanyClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015100.510.510.47
DESI 2014100.490.470.44

1. Connectivity

1 ConnectivityGermanyClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 201570.650.60.55
DESI 201460.610.540.51

 

Connectivity is the DESI 2015 dimension where Germany performs best. With an overall Connectivity score of 0.65, the country ranks 7th among EU countries, above the cluster score and the European score.

 

 GermanyEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
1a1 Fixed BB Coverage
% households
97%
(2013)
 1597%
(2013)
1597%
(2013)
1a2 Fixed BB Take-up
% households
83%
(2014)
 281%
(2013)
370%
(2014)
1b1 Mobile BB Take-up
Subscribers per 100 people
64
(2014)
 1444
(2013)
2267
(2014)
1b2 Spectrum
% of the target for spectrum to be harmonised at EU level
100%
(2014)
 1100%
(2013)
170%
(2014)
1c1 NGA Coverage
% households, out of all households
75%
(2013)
 1275%
(2013)
1262%
(2013)
1c2 Subscriptions to Fast BB
% of subscriptions >= 30Mbps, out of fixed BB subscriptions
18%
(2014)
 2014%
(2013)
1922%
(2014)
1d1 Fixed BB Price
% individual gross income spent for the cheapest standalone Fixed Broadband subscription (lower values are better)
0.94%
(2014)
 20.93%
(2013)
31.3%
(2014)

 

Germany is fully covered by basic broadband services (including fixed, mobile and satellite networks). However, Germany is performing less well, compared to the EU average, in the uptake of fast broadband services. Demand for these services is accelerating and the German government is already planning to provide fast broadband (50 Megabits per second) Internet to all rural and urban areas alike by 2018. This plan is included in the German government’s first "Digital Agenda 2014-2017" presented in 2014. The plan foresees to extend fast broadband coverage through a variety of technologies on the market, including mobile-based LTE (Long Term Evolution).

If Germany aims at moving to ultrafast broadband technology, more investments in fiber networks will be necessary. Whereas fixed-line operators have in the past years upgraded their legacy copper and coaxial cable networks, ultrafast networks will require to install fibre connecting businesses and households directly at the premises.

2. Human Capital

2 Human CapitalGermanyClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 201590.60.570.54
DESI 201490.580.540.52

 

With a Human Capital score of 0.6, Germany ranks 9th among EU countries, showing an improvement from the previous year (0.58) and performing better than the EU average (0.54) and the medium-performance cluster to which the country belongs (0.57).

 

 GermanyEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
2a1 Internet Users
% individuals (aged 16-74)
82%
(2014)
 880%
(2013)
875%
(2014)
2a2 Basic Digital Skills
% individuals (aged 16-74)
69%
(2014)
 862%
(2012)
859%
(2014)
2b1 ICT Specialists
% employed individuals
3%
(2013)
 113%
(2012)
112.8%
(2013)
2b2 STEM Graduates
Graduates in STEM per 1000 individuals (aged 20 to 29)
16
(2012)
 1516
(2012)
1517
(2012)

 

The inhabitants of Germany are regular users of the Internet, more than Europeans on average. They also possess, on average, higher skills: 69% of Germans have basic or above basic digital skills, above the European average of 59%. The availability of digital skills in the country is also reflected by the share of persons employed possessing "ICT specialist skills", which is at 3% as compared to the European average of 2.8%. With a rate of 16 per 1000 individuals (between 20 and 29 years old) with a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) graduate degree, Germany is slightly below the EU average of 17 and ranks 15th among the EU Member States in terms of high-level training in these scientific disciplines.

3. Use of Internet

3 Use of InternetGermanyClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015210.380.440.41
DESI 2014180.380.420.39

 

In terms of the propensity of individuals to use Internet services, Germany scores 0.38 - steady from last year - and ranks 21th among EU countries. In comparison to other European countries, less German users spend time on the Internet for social activities and online media. On the contrary, they are well above European average and rank 4th in Europe for the activities related to shopping online.

 

 GermanyEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
3a1 News
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
70%
(2014)
 2068%
(2013)
2067%
(2014)
3a2 Music, Videos and Games
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
53%
(2014)
 1148%
(2012)
2049%
(2014)
3a3 Video on Demand
% households that have a TV
24%
(2013)
 1624%
(2013)
1539%
(2013)
3a4 IPTV
% households that have a TV
5.9%
(2013)
 195.9%
(2013)
1913%
(2013)
3b1 Video Calls
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
28%
(2014)
 2827%
(2013)
2537%
(2014)
3b2 Social Networks
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
49%
(2014)
 2750%
(2013)
2558%
(2014)
3c1 Banking
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
57%
(2014)
 1656%
(2013)
1657%
(2014)
3c2 Shopping
% individuals who used Internet in the last year (aged 16-74)
80%
(2014)
 480%
(2013)
363%
(2014)

 

German Internet users read news online (70%), listen to music, watch videos and play games online (53%) and use online banking (57%). While users in Germany tend to use Internet for online shopping more than Europeans (80% of Internet users compared to 63% for the EU28), they are less eager than users in other countries to watch movies online or engage into social activities online.

Only about one fourth (24%) of German Internet users watch video on demand, compared to 39% at EU level, and only 5.9% use IPTV, less than half than the European figure. One of the reasons for this might be the good offers available over other channels. Roughly half of the German Internet users use social networks (49% against an EU average of 58%) - the second lowest figure among all EU countries - and even less (28%) use the Internet to make video calls - the lowest share in the EU.

4. Integration of Digital Technology

4 Integration of Digital TechnologyGermanyClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 201580.40.370.33
DESI 201460.40.340.3

 

Regarding Integration of Digital Technology by businesses, Germany scores 0.4, above the EU average and 8th among the European Member States. Although German enterprises perform in line with the EU average with regard to many dimensions related to online business, they need to better exploit the possibilities offered by social media and cloud-based applications.

 

 GermanyEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
4a1 Electronic Information Sharing
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
35%
(2014)
 1430%
(2013)
1431%
(2014)
4a2 RFID
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
4%
(2014)
 151.7%
(2011)
143.8%
(2014)
4a3 Social Media
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
11%
(2014)
 2117%
(2013)
1114%
(2014)
4a4 eInvoices
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
12%
(2014)
 89.4%
(2013)
2011%
(2014)
4a5 Cloud
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
6.2%
(2014)
 21n.a.-11%
(2014)
4b1 SMEs Selling Online
% SMEs (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
22%
(2014)
 722%
(2013)
515%
(2014)
4b2 eCommerce Turnover
% turnover of SMEs (no financial sector, 10-249 employees)
9.5%
(2014)
 11n.a.-8.8%
(2014)
4b3 Selling Online Cross-border
% SMEs (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
n.a. -n.a.-6.5%
(2013)

 

A true digital economy is one where businesses take full advantage of the possibilities and benefits offered by digital technologies, to improve their efficiency and productivity, and reach out to customers to sell goods and services. In this respect, the adoption of e-Business practices by German companies shows a contrasted picture. In the context of the "Digital Agenda 2014-2017", Germany adopted the "Industry 4.0" programme, which aims at further enhancing the use of digital technologies for business.

German companies have relatively well integrated electronic information sharing (35% of all companies, ranking 14th among 28 EU Member States) and use of eInvoices (12% of companies, ranking 8th). The use of Radio-Frequency IDentification, (4% of all companies) is slightly above the EU average of 3.8%. On the contrary, German businesses perform less well in terms of adoption of advanced technologies such as cloud services (6.2%) and in the use of social media (11%), where Germany ranks 21st in Europe. German enterprises need also to take further advantage of the possibilities offered by on-line commerce: slightly above one fifth of SMEs sell online (22% - above the 15% of the EU average), and those who sell online make less than 10% of the share of their turnover from those sales (9.5%).

5. Digital Public Services

5 Digital Public ServicesGermanyClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 2015180.390.490.47
DESI 2014180.360.450.45

 

With a score of 0.39, Germany ranks 18th among EU countries in Digital Public Services, showing that the country needs to improve the provision of online public services and of eHealth. The low use of eGovernment solutions might also be an indicator that the availability and usability of online public services could be enhanced.

 

 GermanyEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
5a1 eGovernment Users
% individuals returning filled forms, out of Internet users in the last year (aged 16-74)
18%
(2014)
 2317%
(2013)
2233%
(2014)
5a2 Pre-filled Forms
Score (0 to 100)
34
(2014)
 1744
(2013)
1745
(2014)
5a3 Online Service Completion
Score (0 to 100)
75
(2014)
 1867
(2013)
1975
(2014)
5a4 Open Data
Score (0 to 700)
400
(2014)
 12n.a.-380
(2014)
5b1 Medical Data Exchange
% General Practitioners
24%
(2013)
 1524%
(2013)
1536%
(2013)
5b2 ePrescription
% General Practitioners
15%
(2013)
 1315%
(2013)
1327%
(2013)

 

Modern public services offered online in an efficient manner are a vehicle for reducing public spending as well as for realising efficiency gains for enterprises, citizens and the public administration. Germany faces a key challenge in online public services. Provision of pre-filled forms[3] is lower than the EU average. The share of administrative steps related to major life events (birth of a child, new residence, etc) that can be done online is just in line with EU average (Online Service Completion: 75/100). Better online public services will also likely improve Germany’s percentage of eGovernment users: only 18% of Internet users, (against 33% in the EU average) fully interact online with public authorities, this figure being among the lowest in Europe (Germany ranks 23rd).

The efficiency and degree of service offered by health systems can be greatly enhanced through digitalisation. Germany’s performance in eHealth can be improved, namely by encouraging a greater adoption of medical data exchange (only 24% of German general practitioners exchange medical data electronically, versus 36% in the EU). The same applies to ePrescription, as only 15% of general practitioners transfer prescriptions to pharmacists electronically, well below the EU average of 27%.


[1] DESI scores range from 0 to 1, the higher the score the better the country performance.

[2] In the DESI 2015, the medium-performance cluster of countries comprises Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Spain, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

[3] It measures the extent to which data that is already known to the public administration is pre-filled in the forms that are presented to the user.

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Last updated on 24/02/2015