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In 2020, some 65% of all adults (aged 16-74 years) in the EU bought/ordered goods or services on the internet during the 12 months prior to the survey. Younger people, aged 25-34 years were 2.5 times more likely to have made use of the internet to shop (83%) than people aged 65-74 years (33%). 

Online shopping has become more common in the EU as the use of the internet spreads to all ages. Consumers value the accessibility to a wide range of products at any time, anywhere, with the added benefit of special prices. Events like Black Friday, as well as Cyber Monday, are some of the occasions where online shopping takes precedence in the calendar. 

The Danish capital region of Hovedstaden recorded the highest propensity to use e-commerce (91%) across all EU regions, followed by the Danish region of Midtjylland and the Dutch region of Utrecht, both 90%. 

EU MAP: people (% of people aged 16-74 years old) ordering goods and services online, 2020, by NUTS 2 regions

Source datasets: isoc_r_blt12_i and isoc_ec_ib20

In contrast, four regions in Bulgaria had the lowest share in 2020: Severen tsentralen (25%), Yuzhen tsentralen and Yugoiztochen (both 26%) and Severozapaden (27%).

When surveyed in 2020, 19% of all adults said they never made an online purchase. There were 11 NUTS level 1 regions in the EU for which the most common response was to have never made an online purchase: every region of Bulgaria and Romania, in Sud and Isole (Italy), as well as in Kentriki Ellada (Greece), Cyprus and Região Autónoma da Madeira (Portugal).

Consumers are also using the internet for banking activities. In 2020, 58% of the EU adult population used internet banking during the three months prior to the survey. 

As for e-commerce, the Danish capital region of Hovedstaden had the highest share of internet banking at 96%.

Would you like to know more about internet use in the different EU regions?

For more information: 

  • The data in this article are based on the annual survey on the use of ICT in households and by individuals. The results above refer to individuals’ experiences during the last 3 months or 12 months prior to the survey, i.e. the first quarter of 2020 or the calendar year prior to the first quarter of 2020. Hence, the reference period refers mainly to the situation before the COVID-19 pandemic started. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the fieldwork had to be postponed or extended, and the timing of this 3 or 12-month reference period varies across countries. 
  • Data for Germany, Greece and Poland relate to NUTS level 1 regions, while the latest data available for France concern 2019. As 2020 data for France are not available, the EU aggregates for 2020 have been estimated.

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