One fifth have never used web

MORE than one fifth of Irish people have never used the internet.

Despite living in an age dominated by the web and social media, Eurostat figures show 21% of Irish people aged 16 to 74 said they had never used the internet. This is down from 42% in 2006 and is below the European average of 24%.

Sweden had the lowest figure at 5%, followed by the Netherlands (7%), Denmark (7%), and Luxembourg (8%). Romania had the highest at 54%, followed by Bulgaria (46%) and Greece (45%).

In terms of internet access and frequency of use, the survey found that 78% of Irish households had internet access, compared with 50% in 2006. About 65% of Irish homes were found to have a broadband connection, against 13% in 2006.

The level of internet access was found to have increased across the EU between 2006 and 2011.

This year, access of 90% and over was recorded in the Netherlands (94%), Luxembourg and Sweden (both 91%) and Denmark (90%), while shares of 50% and below were registered in Bulgaria (45%), Romania (47%) and Greece (50%).

The proportion of households with a broadband connection also rose when compared with 2006.

Sweden (86%) registered the highest share of broadband connections last year, followed by Denmark (84%), the Netherlands and Britain (both 83%), and Finland (81%). Romania (31%), Bulgaria (40%) and Greece (45%) had the lowest share.

A survey by the CSO released last week found older people were the fastest-growing internet user group in Ireland. However, one third of people who go online every day do not have broadband access.

The survey of about 5,800 people over the first three months of 2011, shows 81% of all households have access to a computer. The vast majority, 78%, were found to have home internet access, up from two thirds in 2009 and just 57% in 2007.

Though half of those without a computer or internet access said they did not need them, significant numbers cited lack of skills or confidence as factors.


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