1. Web

Study: Nearly a quarter of the European Union has never used the internet

hack680 via aljazeeraA new study put out about internet usage in the European Union points to a large increase in access and broadband connection in households since 2006. However, almost a quarter of EU citizens still haven’t ever used the internet.

The data was published by the European Eunion’s statistical office, Eurostat. The study concerns individuals aged 16-74, and usage during the first quarter of 2011. It can be surreal to imagine for some of you, but the stats mean that more than 100 million people still live life without search engines, email and funny cat memes in the EU27.

But looking at individual countries there is a vast usage disparity among the 27 members. For example, Sweden has the lowest number of those who have never used the internet at 5%, while Romania has the highest number at 54%.

Internet access is over 90% in countries like Luxembourg, Sweden and the Netherlands, while countries like Greece, Bulgaria and Romania are at 50% or below. Similar trends follow Broadband internet access in households, with Sweden, the Netherlands and the UK over 83%, and countries like Romania having only 31%.

As far as e-commerce is concerned, in 2011 the UK leads the pack in purchasing goods online at 83%, with Denmark, Sweden and Germany following close behind. Its interesting to compare the shopping numbers of financial crises headliners like Italy, Greece, Spain and Ireland.

It is worth nothing that from 2006 to 2011, the number of individuals that have never used the internet shrank from 40% to its current share of 24%, and EU’s Digital Agenda wants to shrink that share even further to 15% by 2015. However, along with the aforementioned Romania, the numbers show that close to half the citizens in the poorer countries of Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus and Portugal have never surfed the web.

More Eurostat numbers