Back Consumption of online news rises in popularity

24 August 2022

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In 2021, around nine out of ten (89%) people in the EU, aged between 16 and 74 years, used the internet (at least once within the three months prior to the survey date) and cultural activities, including among others reading online news, were one of the most popular uses.

Data for 2021 show that 72% of EU internet users aged 16-74 read online news sites, newspapers or news magazines, a 2 percentage point (pp) increase compared with 2016. 

Among EU Member States, the highest percentages of internet users reading news online were registered in Finland (93%), Lithuania and Czechia (both 92%) and Croatia and Greece (both 90%). The lowest usage was reported in Romania (59%), Germany (62%), France (63%), Italy (64%) and Belgium (67%).

Source dataset: isoc_ci_ac_i


Compared with 2016, internet usage for reading online news increased more (+3 pp) among women than men (+2 pp) in 2021, but in general, men were more likely to use the internet for reading news than women (74% vs 71%). 

When considering age, reading ‘online news sites/newspapers/news magazines’ was the most popular in the age range of 25-54 years (75%). Both this age group and the 55-74 group (68%) registered increases of 3 pp and 2 pp, respectively. 


Bartchart: Use of the internet for reading online in the EU

Source dataset: isoc_ci_ac_i


The percentage of internet users increased the most in rural areas (65% in 2016 to 69% in 2021), followed by those living in cities (74% to 76%), but remained stable at 70% for those living in towns and suburbs

People with high formal education (85%) were generally more likely to use the internet for ’reading online new sites/newspapers/news magazines’ than those who had not achieved such a level of education (57%).


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Methodological note:

  • EU: data are estimated.

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