NEWS | 15 Jan 2015

Internet in Europe increases, but differences between countries continue

Internet use continues to grow in Europe. Nearly two-thirds of Europeans aged 16-74 use the Internet daily, according to 2014 data from Eurostat. But the percentage of users differs widely between countries, ranging from just over 30 per cent of daily users in Romania to around 90 per cent in Iceland and Norway.

The annual Eurostat ICT statistics are based on data collected from national statistical offices in the EU countries plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. Data show that both access to and use of the Internet are increasing throughout Europe, but there are still clear variations between countries. Ranking highest on most lists are a number of countries in northern Europe - including the five Nordic countries - while Bulgaria, Romania and Greece are examples of countries with lower Internet access and use.

High Internet access and use in the Nordic countries
Eight out of ten EU households have access to the Internet. In the Nordic countries the majority of households have Internet access, from 90 per cent in Finland and Sweden to 96 per cent in Iceland. Internet use is also widespread. Iceland takes the lead, with 94 per cent of its population claiming to be daily users.

Individuals using the Internet on average daily or almost every day in Europe 2014: top ten countries plus EU28 (share of individuals aged 16-74 years, per cent)

Source: Eurostat database.
Download Daily internet use 2004-2014 in Europe (Nordicom table database, Excel)
Download Daily Internet use by sex and age 2004-2014  in the Nordic countries (Nordicom table database, Excel)

18 per cent non-users in EU28
Still, there are people who never use the Internet. Of Europeans aged 16-74 years, 18 per cent are non-users, which is a significant reduction from 43 per cent in 2006. Again, there are differences between countries. In Romania and Bulgaria one in three people are non-users, while this group represents only a few per cent in the Nordic countries (1-6 per cent).

One-fifth in EU28 use cloud services for storage
Eurostat also presents the share of people using cloud services to store documents, photos, music or other files. Denmark tops the list, with 42 per cent of its population saving files using cloud services, followed by Norway with 40 per cent and the United Kingdom with 38 per cent. For other Nordic countries, the share is 35 per cent in Sweden, 34 per cent in Iceland and 24 per cent in Finland. Most popular are the free-of-charge cloud services – only 11 per cent of users paid for Internet storage space - and the most common purpose for this was to store photos.


Links to Eurostat, Nordicom tables and national reports/databases:
Internet and cloud services - statistics on the use by individuals (article)
Information Society Statistics (database, see Industry, Trade and Services)
NORDICOM Media Statistics: Nordic and International (table database)
Statistics Denmark  Information Society: ICT use by households and individuals (database)
Statistics Finland  Use of information and communications technology by individuals 2014
Statistics Iceland  Information technology (database)
Statistics Norway ICT usage in households, 2014
Statistics Sweden Use of computers and the Internet by private persons in 2014

About the statistics: The national statistical offices within the EU (plus non-members Iceland and Norway) conduct annual surveys on individuals’ use of computers and the Internet. The surveys are part of a European project, and the data are reported to Eurostat. The statistics can therefore, in broad terms, be compared between countries. The surveys cover 16- to 74-year-olds, and in some countries older people as well. The data above refer to use during the second quarter of 2014.