Government websites increasingly popular

02/05/2006 14:00

Nearly half of Dutch people who used the Internet in 2005 visited a government website. The Netherlands is above average in Europe in this respect. Dutch people are using government websites more and more for information and to complete forms.

Half of Internet users visit government sites

An increasing share of communication between the government and the public takes place via websites. Nearly half of all Internet users aged between 12 and 75 years looked for information on websites of government authorities in 2005. In 2002 this was only one in five Internet users. 

Use of the Internet for government services, 2005

Use of the Internet for government services, 2005

Netherlands above average in Europe

People in the countries of Scandinavia use government websites the most: about six out of ten people who use the Internet visited these sites in 2005. The Netherlands is not far behind, and is clearly above the European average in this respect. In Italy, the United Kingdom and Belgium fewer than four out of the Internet users visited government websites.

Information searches on government websites in some countries of Europe, 2005

Information searches on government websites in some countries of Europe, 2005

Use of e-documents also increasing

To help to reduce the administrative burden, in addition to information, government authorities also give access to official documents on their websites. Half of the people who visit government websites downloaded official documents. Nearly four out of the visitors also actually completed them and returned them electronically. More men than women used this form of communication. 

Government websites and use of e-documents, 2005

Government websites and use of e-documents, 2005

People with higher education use government websites most

Visitors with a higher level of education (vocational college or university) make the most use of government services via the Internet. Nearly 60 percent of them downloaded official government documents, nearly half also completed them and sent them back electronically. People with higher education made twice as much use of the on-line possibilities than people with lower educational levels.

Ger Linden