Thirty percent of adults do not use the Internet

14/06/2005 14:00

In 2004 a total of 3.8 million adults had never used the Internet, i.e. 30 percent of the population over the age of 18. Two-thirds of this group consist of persons aged 55 years and older. In 2003 there were 4.2 million adults who had no Internet experience at all. Practically all 12 to 18 year-olds have Internet experience; only 3 percent had never used the Internet.

Persons without Internet experience by age, 2004

Older people

Over one and a half million people aged 65 and older had never used the Internet in 2004. On the other hand, the proportion of over-65s with Internet experience has grown by 36 percent from 14 percent in 2002 to 19 percent in 2004, well above the average increase by 9 percent in the population aged 12 years and older.

Level of education

Apart from age, education level is an important factor regarding use of the Internet. In 2003 95 percent of over-65s who had only primary education, had never used the Internet, as against only 53 percent of vocational college or university graduates over the age of 65. In all age categories there is a strong link between education level and Internet use.

Over-65s without Internet experience by level of education, 2003

Internet access location

In 2004 the Internet user rate in the population of 12 years and older was 66 percent. Nearly 60 percent of the Dutch population had access to the Internet at home; 53 percent of the employed population had used the Internet at work. Although most people have access to the Internet at various locations, approximately 8 percent had not surfed the Internet at home in 2003. They accessed the Internet at other locations, for example at work, in an educational setting, a library, community centre or with family, neighbours, friends or acquaintances. The possibility of using the Internet at other access locations contributes significantly to the proliferation of Internet use among the Dutch population.

Internet use in the population by access location, 2004

Vincent Fructuoso van der Veen