Bikers and pedestrians in Copenhagen city

Nordic regions at the top when Eurostat compares Internet use

NEWS | 3 November 2021

In the Nordic capital city regions, almost everyone uses the Internet on a daily basis. Thus, they top comparisons with other regions in Europe. This is shown in Eurostat’s data covering Internet usage in over 230 European regions.

Eurostat, the EU statistical office, has published its regional yearbook with a broad coverage of regional statistics, including Internet and social media usage in 2020.

The yearbook focuses on the EU regions, but as data are also available for the Nordic countries not in the EU – Norway and Iceland – this article covers regions from all five Nordic countries.

The regional division used means that Denmark and Finland are divided into five regions, Norway into seven and Sweden into eight, while Iceland is composed of just one. (Find more information about the regional division at the end.)

The Internet has become commonplace

In all but three Nordic regions, over 90 per cent of the population aged 16–74 used the Internet daily in 2020, as shown in Eurostat's map below (Figure 1). In the three Nordic regions that did not reach over 90 per cent, the proportion was almost as high: 87–88 per cent. In the Nordic capital city regions, Internet use among all respondents was almost universal, 95–98 per cent.

Figure 1: Share of the population in Europe's regions that used the Internet daily in 2020 (per cent)

Eurostat's map of European regions, where all regions but three in the Nordic countries have over 90 per cent of the population aged 16–74 years using the Internet on daily basis.

Note: Proportion of the population who used the Internet daily during the three months preceding the survey. Source: Eurostat – link to the map in Eurostat Statistical Atlas
 

A fully Nordic top ten list

When Europe's regions are ranked according to the highest proportion of Internet users, the top ten list is fully Nordic. Iceland comes first, followed by the Nordic capital city regions in Norway, Finland, Denmark and Sweden and three more Norwegian and two Danish regions (Figure 2).

Figure 2. The ten European regions with the highest shares of daily Internet users in 2020 (per cent)

Bar graph showing that all ten regions with the highest shares of Internet users in Europe are regions in the Nordic countries.

Note: Proportion of the population aged 16–74 who used the Internet daily during the three months preceding the survey. Source: Eurostat.

 

Icelanders and Norwegians diligent social media users

Social networking – that is, using social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok or Twitter – is one of the most common activities online. Among EU citizens, almost six of ten (57%) say that they participated in social networks in 2020 during the three months preceding the survey. This is up from 54 per cent in 2019.

Among the European regions, Iceland is again at the top, with 94 per cent saying they have used social media in the three months prior to the survey. Four Norwegian regions with 90–92 per cent follow suit (Figure 3).

Figure 3. The ten European regions with the highest shares of social media users in 2020 (per cent)

Bar chart showing that Iceland and several Norwegian regions have the highest share of social media users in Europe.

Note: Proportion of the population aged 16–74 who have used social media during the three months preceding the survey. Source: Eurostat.

While Internet usage was fairly even throughout the Nordic regions in 2020, there was a greater variation in social media usage, from 94 per cent in Iceland down to 67 per cent in the northern region of Finland. In all regions of Denmark, more than 80 per cent (83–86%) used social media, while in Finland, only the capital city region reached that level (82%). In other Finnish regions, the share of the population using social media varied from 67 to 76 per cent. The corresponding figures for the regions in Sweden were 68–78 per cent.

 

Explore Eurostat's regional statistics:

 

About the regional division

About the Internet statistics

 

---
EVA HARRIE

 

NEWS