Internet has become increasingly important in recent years and particularly so in 2020, following the COVID-19 outbreak and related confinement and social distancing measures.
In 2020, 87% of people aged 16-74 in the EU reported they had used the internet during the previous 3 months (see notes). This share ranged from 70% in Bulgaria to 99% in Denmark. Internet use has grown rapidly over the years - in 2010 it stood at 67% and in 2015 at 78%.
In 2020, the internet was used mainly to send/receive e-mails (74%), to find information about goods and services (69%), for instant messaging (68%), online news (65%) and telephoning or video calls (60%).
A majority of people also used the internet for banking (57%), for listening to music (56%), to participate in social networks (56%) and to look for health information (55%).
Staying ‘connected’ while social distancing
To respect the social distancing measures in force from March 2020 in most EU Member States, one option of staying connected was via telephone or video calls over the internet.
In the EU, 60% of people aged 16-74 made telephone or video calls over the internet in 2020 in the last 3 months prior to the survey (see notes). Across all internet activities, telephone or video calls recorded the largest increase compared with 2019 (52%) as well as since the beginning of their data collection (17% in 2008).
Among EU Member States with available data, telephone or video calls over the internet were most popular in Cyprus (85%) and the Netherlands (83%). In contrast, this share was lowest in Czechia and Slovenia, where only a little over half (52%) of people aged 16-74 made telephone or video calls over the internet in 2020 in the last 3 months prior to the survey.
Source dataset: isoc_ci_ac_i
Eurostat has just released fresh 2020 data for the Community survey on ICT usage in European households and by individuals; the full data from the survey is available here.
• The data in this article are based on the annual survey on use of ICT in households and by individuals; the results above refer to individuals’ experiences during the last 3 months prior to the survey. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the timing of this 3-month reference period varies across countries.
• 2020 data for France and Italy are not available. As a result, EU value has been estimated.
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