Data from September 2009, most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database.This article presents recent statistical data on many different aspects of the information society in the European Union (EU). Implementing the information society is critical for improving the competitiveness of EU industry and, more generally, to meet the demands of society and the EU economy. Information and communication technology (ICT) affects people's everyday lives in many ways, both at work and in the home, and EU policies in this area range from regulating entire industrial sectors to protecting individual privacy.
Main statistical findings
Households and individuals
Two thirds (66 %) of individuals in the EU-27, aged between 16 and 74 years, used a computer in the three months before the 2008 ICT survey. A similar proportion (62 %) of individuals used the Internet. The proportion of individuals using a computer and the Internet in the three months before the 2008 survey rose to between 80 % and 90 % in Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and Luxembourg, but was in a minority in Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Cyprus and particularly in Romania. Almost one third (32 %) of individuals in the EU-27 used the Internet for services related to travel and accommodation in 2008, the spread among Member States being from less than 10 % of individuals in Bulgaria and Romania to between 50 % and 60 % of individuals in Finland, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Among Internet users, in other words, those EU-27 individuals using the Internet in the three months before the ICT survey, a large majority (86 %) accessed the Internet from home. By comparison, about one half of this proportion accessed it at work (42 %), around double the proportion accessing from a friend, neighbour or relative’s house (22 %). While 87 % of all individuals aged 16 to 74 used a mobile phone, the proportion of individuals who used a mobile phone for browsing the Internet was only 6 % in EU-27. Finland and Sweden had the highest shares (16 %) for web browsing via a mobile phone.
About six in every ten enterprises (64 %) in the EU-27 with over ten persons employed (excluding those in the financial sector) had their own website in 2008. This share increased with enterprise size, as nine out of ten large enterprises had their own website; overall rates were highest in Denmark and Sweden.
Some 16 % of enterprises in the EU-27 received orders on-line during 2007, which was about three fifths of the proportion of enterprises (28 %) that used computer networks to place orders to purchase goods or services. The percentage of enterprises purchasing or selling on-line tends to rise with the size of the enterprise. It may be easier for large enterprises to finance investments for the introduction of e-commerce services. The general pattern across Member States is one where a considerably higher proportion of enterprises have made purchases on-line when compared with those that have received orders on-line (probably reflecting the greater complexity of setting up an on-line selling system compared with making purchases). Almost one third (32 %) of all enterprises in the United Kingdom received orders on-line in 2008, while corresponding shares were also equal to or above one quarter in the Netherlands and Ireland. In contrast, a small majority of enterprises in Ireland, Germany and Sweden made purchases on-line in 2008, with upwards of 40 % of all enterprises in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands also making purchases on-line.