Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Netherlands

Article
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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With an overall score[1] of 0.64 and ranking 4th out of the 28 EU Member States, the Netherlands is one of the top performers, albeit doing slightly less good than last year when it ranked 3rd. In the past year, the country's ranking has remained stable in terms of Connectivity. Fast internet is available to practically all (98%) Dutch households, and almost half (46%) of fixed broadband subscriptions are to a fast broadband connection. However, there is still room for improvement, for example as regards mobile broadband take-up (a third of citizens still do not use mobile broadband). The Netherlands' digital economy could thrive even more, if the country further invests in human capital development to counter the shortage of ICT professionals and in encouraging businesses to use digital technologies more. For example, today, only 13% of SMEs sell online, while only 11% use eInvoicing.

The Netherlands fall into the cluster of high‑performance[2] countries.

 

DESINetherlandsClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 201540.640.660.48
DESI 201430.610.630.45

1. Connectivity

1 ConnectivityNetherlandsClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 201520.730.70.56
DESI 201420.690.650.51

 

Connectivity is the DESI 2015 dimension where the Netherlands performs best. With an overall Connectivity score of 0.73, the country ranks 2nd among EU countries.

 

 NetherlandsEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
1a1 Fixed BB Coverage
% households
100%
(2014)
 3100%
(2013)
397%
(2014)
1a2 Fixed BB Take-up
% households
n.a. -n.a.-70%
(2014)
1b1 Mobile BB Take-up
Subscribers per 100 people
66
(2014)
 1264
(2013)
1272
(2014)
1b2 Spectrum
% of the target for spectrum to be harmonised at EU level
68%
(2014)
 1968%
(2013)
1770%
(2014)
1c1 NGA Coverage
% households, out of all households
98%
(2014)
 398%
(2013)
368%
(2014)
1c2 Subscriptions to Fast BB
% of subscriptions >= 30Mbps, out of fixed BB subscriptions
46%
(2014)
 842%
(2013)
526%
(2014)
1d1 Fixed BB Price
% individual gross income spent for the cheapest standalone Fixed Broadband subscription (lower values are better)
n.a. -n.a.-1.4%
(2014)

 

The Netherlands is performing overall very well in terms of Connectivity. Both with regard to broadband and fast broadband coverage, the Netherlands is in the top 3.

Every Dutch household has access to broadband Internet. Next Generation Access networks capable of providing at least 30 Mbps are available to practically all (98%) Dutch households (against 68% in the EU). Of all fixed broadband subscriptions in the Netherlands, 46% are to a fast broadband connection.

However, there is scope to further improve the number of mobile broadband subscribers in the Netherlands. Although increasing, a third of all citizens still do not yet use mobile broadband.

 

 Download the Report on the Implementation of the Telecommunications Regulatory Package (EN)

2. Human Capital

2 Human CapitalNetherlandsClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 201550.670.730.54
DESI 201440.680.730.52

 

With a Human Capital score of 0.67, the Netherlands ranks, like last year, very high among EU countries. Dutch people are overall active Internet users compared to the EU average.

 

 NetherlandsEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
2a1 Internet Users
% individuals (aged 16-74)
91%
(2014)
 392%
(2013)
275%
(2014)
2a2 Basic Digital Skills
% individuals (aged 16-74)
75%
(2014)
 578%
(2012)
359%
(2014)
2b1 ICT Specialists
% employed individuals
3.9%
(2012)
 63.9%
(2012)
62.8%
(2012)
2b2 STEM Graduates
Graduates in STEM per 1000 individuals (aged 20 to 29)
11
(2012)
 2511
(2012)
2517
(2012)

 

To fully exploit the benefits of the digital economy, a high-skilled and adaptive workforce is key to competitiveness. Although skills mismatches in the Netherlands are relatively limited, the potential of the digital economy for growth and jobs is easily hampered by a shortage of ICT professionals[3] and by reluctance to use the Internet. While the Netherlands seek to address this gap with a range of programmes[4], further efforts to reduce actual or potential digital skills shortages could help to meet growing demand for digitally skilled professionals and increase the competitiveness of the Dutch economy.

3. Use of Internet

3 Use of InternetNetherlandsClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 201530.560.590.43
DESI 201450.520.540.41

 

In terms of the propensity of individuals to use internet services, the Netherlands again score very well. The country now ranks 3rd, up from 5th, among EU countries. Dutch people appear to adopt in particular Internet banking and shopping.

 

 NetherlandsEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
3a1 News
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
61%
(2014)
 2559%
(2013)
2167%
(2014)
3a2 Music, Videos and Games
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
65%
(2014)
 259%
(2012)
549%
(2014)
3a3 Video on Demand
% households that have a TV
69%
(2014)
 465%
(2013)
541%
(2014)
3b1 Video Calls
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
35%
(2014)
 2331%
(2013)
2137%
(2014)
3b2 Social Networks
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
63%
(2014)
 1759%
(2013)
1858%
(2014)
3c1 Banking
% individuals who used Internet in the last 3 months (aged 16-74)
90%
(2014)
 387%
(2013)
357%
(2014)
3c2 Shopping
% individuals who used Internet in the last year (aged 16-74)
75%
(2014)
 673%
(2013)
663%
(2014)

 

In the Netherlands, online engagement of consumers is high, fuelling the digital economy. Dutch people increasingly read news online (61%), listen to music, watch films and play games online (65%), use the Internet to communicate via voice or video calls (35%) or through social networks (63%), and obtain video content using their broadband connections. Also with regard to online transactions, the Dutch are keen users of online banking (90%) and online shopping (75%).

For most of these online activities, engagement among Dutch is higher than overall in the EU.

4. Integration of Digital Technology

4 Integration of Digital TechnologyNetherlandsClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 201560.420.470.33
DESI 201490.370.410.3

 

In Integration of Digital Technology by businesses, the Netherlands score 0.42, its worst score among the five DESI 2015 dimensions. Although ranking 6th on the EU scale, up from 9th last year, the Netherlands could improve their performance further if businesses would better exploit the possibilities offered by online selling, where the country ranks somewhat below the EU average, and further integrate eInvoicing.

 

 NetherlandsEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
4a1 Electronic Information Sharing
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
40%
(2014)
 534%
(2013)
731%
(2014)
4a2 RFID
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
3.1%
(2014)
 191%
(2011)
233.8%
(2014)
4a3 Social Media
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
37%
(2014)
 132%
(2013)
114%
(2014)
4a4 eInvoices
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
11%
(2014)
 1310%
(2013)
1511%
(2014)
4a5 Cloud
% enterprises (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
23%
(2014)
 4n.a.-11%
(2014)
4b1 SMEs Selling Online
% SMEs (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
13%
(2014)
 1513%
(2013)
1415%
(2014)
4b2 eCommerce Turnover
% turnover of SMEs (no financial sector, 10-249 employees)
6.5%
(2014)
 207.7%
(2013)
148.8%
(2014)
4b3 Selling Online Cross-border
% SMEs (no financial sector, 10+ employees)
8.4%
(2013)
 108.4%
(2013)
106.5%
(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 as well as to reach costumers and realise sales. In this regard, there is scope for improvement in the Netherlands.

To improve their competitive situation in a global digital economy, more businesses could make use of technologies such as eInvoicing and SMEs could be further stimulated to sell online. The use of such digital tools could in turn improve eCommerce turnover.

5. Digital Public Services

5 Digital Public ServicesNetherlandsClusterEU
rankscorescorescore
DESI 201530.790.770.47
DESI 201430.780.790.45

 

Digital Public Services is the DESI 2015 dimension in which the Netherlands performs second best. With a score of 0.79, the Netherlands ranks 3rd among EU countries.

 

 NetherlandsEU
DESI 2015DESI 2014DESI 2015
valuerankvaluerankvalue
5a1 eGovernment Users
% individuals returning filled forms, out of Internet users in the last year (aged 16-74)
61%
(2014)
 260%
(2013)
233%
(2014)
5a2 Pre-filled Forms
Score (0 to 100)
69
(2014)
 868
(2013)
745
(2014)
5a3 Online Service Completion
Score (0 to 100)
85
(2014)
 1082
(2013)
1075
(2014)
5a4 Open Data
Score (0 to 700)
505
(2014)
 4n.a.-378
(2014)
5b1 Medical Data Exchange
% General Practitioners
76%
(2013)
 276%
(2013)
236%
(2013)
5b2 ePrescription
% General Practitioners
94%
(2013)
 594%
(2013)
527%
(2013)

 

Modern public services offered online in an efficient manner are a vehicle for efficiency gains for enterprises, citizens, and the public administration itself. The Netherlands appear to have put in place the necessary digital infrastructures to kick-start and further develop a comprehensive set of government-related services for its citizens and businesses. Currently, 61% of Dutch Internet users exchange filled forms with public administration online. As for sophistication of its online public services, the indicator scores[5] place the Netherlands among the better performers in the EU.

The efficiency and degree of service offered by health systems can be greatly improved through digitisation. Also here the Netherlands perform very well compared to the EU average values. Almost all General Practitioners (94%) digitally transfer prescriptions to pharmacists and a majority of them (76%) use electronic networks to exchange medical data with other health care providers and professionals.

 

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

[2] In the DESI 2015, the high-performance cluster of countries comprises Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

[3] http://www.rijksoverheid.nl/documenten-en-publicaties/notas/2011/05/17/digitale-agenda-nl-ict-voor-innovatie-en-economische-groei.html

[4] i.e. under the Dutch national coalition for digital skills coordinated by ECP and Nederland ICT, partner of the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs.

[5] 69/100 in the Pre-filled Forms indicator (measuring 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), and of 85/100 in the Online Service Completion indicator (measuring the extent to which the various steps in an interaction with the public administration – life event – can be performed completely online).

 

 Download the eGovernment benchmark factsheet (EN)

6. R&D

 Download information on R&D in the ICT sector and participation in Horizon 2020 (EN)

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Last updated on 18/06/2015