ICT usage in households and by individuals (isoc_i)

Reference Metadata in Euro SDMX Metadata Structure (ESMS)

Compiling agency: Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union


Eurostat metadata
Reference metadata
1. Contact
2. Metadata update
3. Statistical presentation
4. Unit of measure
5. Reference Period
6. Institutional Mandate
7. Confidentiality
8. Release policy
9. Frequency of dissemination
10. Accessibility and clarity
11. Quality management
12. Relevance
13. Accuracy
14. Timeliness and punctuality
15. Coherence and comparability
16. Cost and Burden
17. Data revision
18. Statistical processing
19. Comment
Related Metadata
Annexes (including footnotes)



For any question on data and metadata, please contact: EUROPEAN STATISTICAL DATA SUPPORT

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1. Contact Top
1.1. Contact organisation

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union

1.2. Contact organisation unit

G4: Innovation and information society

1.5. Contact mail address

2920 Luxembourg LUXEMBOURG


2. Metadata update Top
2.1. Metadata last certified 14/06/2017
2.2. Metadata last posted 01/09/2017
2.3. Metadata last update 01/09/2017


3. Statistical presentation Top
3.1. Data description

Data given in this domain are collected annually by the National Statistical Institutes and are based on Eurostat's annual model questionnaires on ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) usage in households and by individuals. The model questionnaire changes every year. The changes of questions in the MQ are required by the evolving situation of information and communication technologies.

Large part of the data collected are used in the context of the follow up of the Digital Single Market process (Monitoring the Digital Economy & Society  2016-2021). This conceptual framework follows the 2011 - 2015 benchmarking framework, the i2010 Benchmarking Framework and the eEurope 2005 Action Plan. ICT usage data are also used in the Consumer Conditions Scoreboard (purchases over the Internet) and in the Employment Guidelines (e-skills of individuals).

The aim of the European ICT surveys is the timely provision of statistics on individuals and households on the use of Information and Communication Technologies at European level. Data for this collection are supplied directly from the surveys with no separate treatment.

Coverage:

The characteristics to be provided are drawn from the following list of subjects:

  • access to and use of ICTs by individuals and/or in households,
  • use of the Internet and other electronic networks for different purposes by individuals and/or in households,
  • ICT security and trust,
  • ICT competence and skills,
  • barriers to the use of ICT and the Internet,
  • perceived effects of ICT usage on individuals and/or on households,
  • use of ICT by individuals to exchange information and services with governments and public administrations (e-government),
  • access to and use of technologies enabling connection to the Internet or other networks from anywhere at any time (ubiquitous connectivity).

Breakdowns (see details of available breakdowns):

Relating to households:

  • by region of residence (NUTS 1, optional: NUTS 2)
  • by geographical location: less developed regions, transition regions, more developed regions
  • by degree of urbanisation (till 2012: densely/intermediate/sparsely populated areas; from 2012: densely/thinly populated area, intermediate density area) 
  • by type of household
  • by households net monthly income (optional)

Relating to individuals:

  • by region of residence (NUTS1, optional: NUTS 2)
  • by geographical location: less developed regions, transition regions, more developed regions
  • by degree of urbanisation: (till 2012: densely/intermediate/sparsely populated areas; from 2012: densely/thinly populated area, intermediate density area)
  • by gender
  • by country of birth, country of citizenship (as of 2010, optional in 2010)
  • by educational level: ISCED 1997 up to 2013 and ISCED 2011 from 2014 onwards.
  • by occupation: manual, non-manual; ICT (coded by 2-digit ISCO categories)/non-ICT (optional: all 2-digit ISCO categories)
  • by employment situation
  • by age (in completed years and by groups)
  • legal / de facto marital status (2011-2014, optional)

Regional breakdowns (NUTS) are available only for a selection of indicators disseminated in the regional tables in Eurobase (Regional Information society statistics by NUTS regions (isoc_reg):

  • Households with access to the internet at home
  • Households with broadband access
  • Individuals who have never used a computer
  • Individuals who used the internet, frequency of use and activities
  • Individuals who used the internet for interaction with public authorities
  • Individuals who ordered goods or services over the internet for private use
  • Individuals who accessed the internet away from home or work
3.2. Classification system

NUTS, ISCO

ISCED 1997 up to 2013 and ISCED 2011 from 2014 onwards. The labels used in the Digital Economy and Society section (isoc) of Eurobase  "Low formal education"/"Medium formal education"/"High formal education" refer to: Low formal education : At most lower secondary education [ISCED 0, 1, or 2]; Medium formal education: Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education  [ISCED 3 or 4]; High formal education: Tertiary education  [ISCED 5, 6, 7 or 8]

Regional breakdowns have been provided on a voluntary basis for 2006 and 2007 according to NUTS1 or NUTS2 by several countries. Starting from 2008, the collection of NUTS1 breakdowns is obligatory (regional breakdowns for all countries are available) while NUTS2 breakdowns are still optional. 

3.3. Coverage - sector

The survey is a general population / household survey.

3.4. Statistical concepts and definitions

The household survey comprises questions at household level and individual level. Household level data and individuals data are broken down as described in point 3.1. Eurostat provides a model questionnaire on ICT usage in Households/by individuals which covers the following areas:

  • Access to selected IC technologies (data collected at household level)
  • Use of computers, location, frequency of use, activities (data collected at individual level)
  • Use of the Internet (data collected at individual level)
  • Internet commerce (data collected at individual level)
  • e-skills; the mobile use of the Internet - ubiquitous connectivity; cloud computing, e-government; trust and security.

A detailed list of variables disseminated in Eurobase Where to find ICT usage indicators in Eurobase Database tables is annually updated; all variables collected in the framework of this survey can be found in the comprehensive database (ACCESS format) on the dedicated section.

Some definitions of socio-demographic background characteristics:

 for details to all definitions see Methodological Manual

3.5. Statistical unit

Households and individuals.

3.6. Statistical population

The population of households consists of all private households having at least one member in the age group 16 to 74 years.

The population of individuals consists of all individuals aged 16 to 74 (on an optional basis some countries collect separate data on other age groups, individuals aged 15 years or less, aged 75 or more).

3.7. Reference area

EU-Member States, Candidate countries, Iceland and Norway. EU aggregates are available.

For some indicators also data from other countries are disseminated (without validation by Eurostat).

3.8. Coverage - Time

Time series (annual data) are available from 2003 onwards.

The questions in the model questionnaire are adapted each year to measure the development of the use of ICT. Therefore not all variables have long time series. An overview of variables per year Variables collected - ICT usage in households and by individuals is published on the dedicated website/comprehensive databases.

3.9. Base period

Not applicable


4. Unit of measure Top

The most common units published are
% of households, % of individuals

All units and breakdowns available are listed in the related descriptive documents on the dedicated section at the end of the page.


5. Reference Period Top

In general, data refer to the first quarter of the reference year. For details see model questionnaires and country specific notes


6. Institutional Mandate Top
6.1. Institutional Mandate - legal acts and other agreements

Indicators from these surveys are among others used for benchmarking purposes (see under point 3.1). A set of benchmarking indicators using statistical information is to be provided through the ESS.

Regulation 808/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 concerning Community statistics on the information society. The objective of this framework regulation is to establish a common framework for the systematic production of Community statistics on the Digital economy and  society. Annual implementing regulations allow for some flexibility in the content of the surveys. Follow this link to see all relevant legal acts.

6.2. Institutional Mandate - data sharing

Not applicable.


7. Confidentiality Top
7.1. Confidentiality - policy

Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 on European statistics (recital 24 and Article 20(4)) of 11 March 2009 (OJ L 87, p. 164), stipulates the need to establish common principles and guidelines ensuring the confidentiality of data used for the production of European statistics and the access to those confidential data with due account for technical developments and the requirements of users in a democratic society.

7.2. Confidentiality - data treatment

Not applicable


8. Release policy Top
8.1. Release calendar

The target date is December of the survey year.

8.2. Release calendar access

The planned release dates are announced some weeks in advance on the dedicated section Digital economy and society (after having informed the WG members).

8.3. Release policy - user access

In line with the Community legal framework and the European Statistics Code of Practice Eurostat disseminates European statistics on Eurostat's website respecting professional independence and in an objective, professional and transparent manner in which all users are treated equitably. The detailed arrangements are governed by the Eurostat protocol on impartial access to Eurostat data for users.


9. Frequency of dissemination Top

yearly


10. Accessibility and clarity Top
10.1. Dissemination format - News release

Annual news releases online in December of the survey year or beginning of the following year, as well as news releases to specific occasions (eg Internet day), see point 8.1.

10.2. Dissemination format - Publications

Statistics Explained articles, the digital publication and other general publications, see the dedicated section of Digital economy and society under Publications.

10.3. Dissemination format - online database

Please consult free data online or the comprehensive database (ACCESS format).

10.4. Dissemination format - microdata access

For the Households / individuals survey microdata were collected on an optional basis until 2010, on a mandatory basis since 2011. Microdata are available for scientific purposes at Eurostat.

10.5. Dissemination format - other

Identification of commentary on the occasion of statistical releases: No official comments are made on the occasion of data releases.
Internet address: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat

10.6. Documentation on methodology

The Methodological Manuals (link in Annexes) used for the survey on ICT usage in households / by individuals and in enterprises are annually compiled by Eurostat in co-operation with Member States.

10.7. Quality management - documentation

National Statistical Institutes provide Eurostat with Quality reports comprising general methodological information of each survey, on statistical unit, target and frame population, sampling design, response and non-response, data processing and sampling errors. 

Summaries of these yearly metadata reports are published in the country specific notes and in the Methodological Manual (both links in Annexes).


11. Quality management Top
11.1. Quality assurance

The Methodological Manual provides guidelines and standards for the implementation of the surveys in the Member States. Furthermore, the use of the Eurostat model questionnaire improves comparability of the results of these surveys.

11.2. Quality management - assessment

ICT usage statistics have overall good quality. The surveys are considered as reliable sources applying high standards with regard to the methodology. Like other surveys, the ICT usage surveys are based on a sample of the population. The results are therefore subject to the usual types of errors associated with random sampling.

Each year National Statistical Institutes provide Quality reports which are survey execution reports that allow to assess the survey carried out and to detect possible points where there is space for improvement.

The Quality reports describe the general and some more specific methodological characteristics related to the various stages of the national surveys in households / by individuals (e.g. survey type, statistical units and target population, stratification and sampling design, information on item and unit non-response, grossing-up procedures, standard error calculations, etc). Overview tables of survey periods and survey vehicles, sampling design and methods, frame populations, sample sizes, response rates, data collections methods, survey vehicles, etc.) are published in the Methodological Manual.


12. Relevance Top
12.1. Relevance - User Needs

Users are considered to be the most important, who make most use of the data and contribute most to identifying/defining the topics to be covered. Hence, main users are consulted regularly (at hearings and task forces with Commission services) for their needs already at a very early stage; also informal contacts with relevant users take place. User needs are taken into account throughout the whole discussion process of the model questionnaires.

Large part of the data collected are used in the context of the 2016 - 2021 benchmarking framework for the Digital Agenda Scoreboard, Europe's strategy for a flourishing digital economy by 2020. ICT usage data are also used in the Consumer Conditions Scoreboard (purchases over the Internet) and in the Employment Guidelines (e-skills of individuals).

12.2. Relevance - User Satisfaction

Well established contacts within the Commission and with the OECD allow us a clear picture about the key users' satisfaction as to the following quality aspects: good accuracy and reliability of results, very good timeliness, satisfactory accessibility, good clarity and comparability over time and between countries, very good completeness and relevance.

See also the Rolling Review of the Information society statistics published in 2011. 

12.3. Completeness

Very good completeness of variables and breakdowns. Incomplete data tables may be due to biennial or triennial questions in the Model questionnaire (MQ) or the optionality of question (response burden).

Changes of questions in the MQ are required by the evolving situation of information and communication technologies. Changed questions require changing the indicator codes, which break the time series and let tables appear incomplete.

A selection of ICT usage results are released in Eurobase tables. All results are disseminated in the comprehensive databases on the dedicated section Digital economy and society on the Eurostat website.


13. Accuracy Top
13.1. Accuracy - overall

Good accuracy and reliability of results in general while for some not enough information available yet (standard errors not calculated for all indicators).

After aggregating the microdata, when computing the ratios, Eurostat will flag any result where the denominator is generated from less than 20 households / individuals as unreliable and not publish it on national level.Eurostat will publish and flag as unreliable any result where the denominator is generated from 20 to 49 households / individuals.

For accuracy measures see also Methodological Manual, for example in chapter about Sampling design or Data processing.

13.2. Sampling error

See section Quality assessment

13.3. Non-sampling error

National Statistical Institutes report in the annual execution reports about other non-sampling errors; overviews of non-response patterns are available in the Methodological Manual (see Unit non-response).  


14. Timeliness and punctuality Top
14.1. Timeliness

Data are delivered to Eurostat in the fourth quarter of the survey year and are released before the end of the same year (week 49-50).

14.2. Punctuality

Release dates are published on the dedicated website after the October Working group. In the last years, ICT usage results have been released as announced in the publised dates.


15. Coherence and comparability Top
15.1. Comparability - geographical

The model questionnaire is generally used in the Member States. Due to (small) differences in translation, in reference periods, in the used survey vehicle, in non-response treatment or different routing through the questionnaire, some results for some countries may be of reduced comparability.

15.2. Comparability - over time

Very good comparability over time since 2003 is achieved for most indicators. Restricted comparability over time for some variables is a consequence of the necessary changes in definitions and/or questions in order to measure the development of ICT (e.g. mobile internet, skills).

15.3. Coherence - cross domain

Not applicable.

15.4. Coherence - internal

Internal coherence is assured through extensive validation procedures that are applied to transmitted data.


16. Cost and Burden Top

In this survey around 150.000 households with at least one person aged 16-74 and around 200.000 individuals aged 16-74 in the EU were surveyed (sample figures refer to the 2016 survey).

The burden for respondents consists of around 120 answer possibilities; the estimated time to complete the questionnaire, depending on intensity of use, is between 10 and 25 minutes.


17. Data revision Top
17.1. Data revision - policy

EU aggregates are compiled when the available countries represent 60% of the population and 55% of the number of countries defining the aggregate.  When further national data become available they are automatically included in the existing aggregate. Hence Eurostat aggregates may change due to the arrival of further data over and above the 60%/55% rule.

17.2. Data revision - practice

Data transmitted by the reporting countries to Eurostat undergo detailed verifications by applying automated validation procedures at the level of variables and breakdowns. The second step of data verification consists in the time series checks. Before dissemination, results for the main indicators (for example the benchmarking indicators) are compared across countries.

If after these verifications and acceptance of data inconsistencies should be found, reporting countries may be asked to verify and revise their results.


18. Statistical processing Top
18.1. Source data

The data set is based on sample surveys; detailed information to sample characteristics are included (occasionnally updated) in the Methodological Manual.

18.2. Frequency of data collection

Annually

18.3. Data collection

Data are generally collected through face to face or telephone interviews, see overview of data collection methods in the Methodological Manual.

18.4. Data validation

Data transmitted by the NSIs to Eurostat undergo detailed verifications by applying automated validation procedures at the level of variables and breakdowns. A further step of data verification consists in the time series checks. Before dissemination, results for the main indicators (for example the benchmarking indicators) are compared across countries.

If after these verifications and acceptance of data inconsistencies should be found, reporting countries may be asked to verify and revise their results.

18.5. Data compilation

Starting with the 2014 survey, NSIs only transmit microdata to Eurostat. It is verified, aggregates are computed and ratios calculated for dissemination.

EU aggregates are compiled when the available countries represent 60% of the population and 55% of the number of countries defining the aggregate. Aggregates are only calculated using available data. No estimates are  made for missing data except if provided by reporting countries.

18.6. Adjustment

Not applicable


19. Comment Top

see annexes


Related metadata Top


Annexes Top
Legal acts
Methodological Manuals
Household model questionnaires
Country specific information Household survey
Where to find which ICT usage indicator in Database tables
Variables collected - ICT usage in households and by individuals
Footnotes - ICT usage in households and by individuals