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EU regions: how did people use the internet in 2021? – Products News from Eurostat


In 2021, some 67% of EU population (16-74 years old) bought/ordered goods or services on the Internet during the 12 months preceding the survey. This share peaked at 93% in three Dutch regions (Drenthe, Utrecht and Zeeland). More generally, there was a very strong tendency to use e-commerce in all but one of the remaining Dutch regions (Limburg being the exception), all Danish regions, all but two Swedish regions, two out of three Irish regions and Corsica (France).

Source dataset: isoc_r_blt12_l

The Bulgarian regions of Yugoiztochen and Severen Tsentralen had the lowest proportions of people using the internet to purchase goods or services over the internet (26% and 27%, respectively, in 2021).

At the same time, some 58% of the EU population used the internet for banking transactions in the three months preceding the survey. At least 90% of people used internet banking in all regions of Denmark, Finland (no data available for Åland), as well as 8 out of 12 regions in the Netherlands. The Finnish capital region, Helsinki-Uusimaa, had the highest share of internet banking (96%). Every region in Bulgaria and Romania (except the capital regions of Yugozapaden and Bucureşti-Ilfov) reported less than a quarter of all people using online banking services; this was also the case for Kentriki Elláda in central Greece.

One of the most common activities on the Internet was participation in social networks, for example using Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or Twitter. In 2021, almost three-fifths (57%) of the EU population participated in social networks in the three months preceding the last survey. The participation rate for young people aged 16-29 (83%) was almost four times higher than the corresponding rate for people aged 65-74 (23%).

Source dataset: isoc_r_iuse_i and isoc_ci_ac_i

In 2021, there were 19 NUTS level 2 regions in the EU where at least three quarters of the population aged 16-74 participated in social networks.

The 21 regions where less than 45% of people participated in social networks were exclusively located in Germany (NUTS level 1 regions) and France. Several of them have been qualified as predominantly rural or outermost regions. Participation in social networks was particularly low in the eastern German regions of Thuringia, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Sachsen-Anhalt (each had a share between 34 and 37%) and in the outermost regions of Reunion (35%) and Guadeloupe (36%) in France.

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Methodological notes:

  • In this article, regional data is presented at NUTS 2 level. There are 242 regions at NUTS 2 level.
  • Germany, Greece, Poland and Turkey: NUTS 1 data.
  • Croatia and Albania: national data.
  • Belgium, Germany, Ireland and Switzerland: break in time series.
  • Data not available for:
    • Liechtenstein
    • France: Mayotte
    • Finland: Åland
    • Norway: Oslo and Viken
    • Norway: Agder og Sør-Østlandet
    • Norway: Vestlandet
    • Norway: Svalbard and Jan Mayen

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