The Netherlands leads Europe in internet access

03/02/2018 02:00
The Netherlands is among the top EU 28 countries with the highest level of internet access at home. In 2017, 98 percent of Dutch households had internet access against a European average of 87 percent. In terms of high-speed broadband connectivity as well, the Netherlands ranks at the top. This is based on an analysis of Eurostat figures by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

With 98 percent of households having internet access at home, the Netherlands is a top performer in the European Union. Other high-ranking countries are Luxembourg and Denmark (97 percent), Sweden (95 percent) and Finland (95 percent).
Within the EU, on average 87 percent of households had internet access, a 4 percentage point increase on 2015. That year, Luxembourg topped the list with 97 percent, followed by the Netherlands with 96 percent.

The share of households with internet access is much lower in many Southern and Eastern European countries, although they have caught up in recent years.

High-speed (broadband) connectivity

Nearly all Dutch households have a broadband connection at home. With a share of 98 percent of all households, the Netherlands topped the European ranking in 2017, followed by Luxembourg and Finland. The EU average of households with broadband internet access was 85 percent.

Holland and Sweden leading in mobile internet

In 2017, the Netherlands and Sweden scored highest within Europe in terms of internet use on mobile devices, outside home or work, namely 87 percent. On average, 65 percent of the EU population aged 16 to 74 used the internet on their mobile devices. The use has grown rapidly in the Netherlands; in 2012, only 55 percent of the Dutch were mobile internet users. That year, 70 percent of the Swedish population used mobile internet on their devices when not at home or at work.

Mainly smartphones extremely popular

In 2017, 84 percent of people in both the Netherlands and Sweden used a smartphone outside their home or work. This made them the pioneers in the EU, where the average share of smartphone users was 63 percent. Smartphone penetration was much lower in the Netherlands and Sweden two years earlier in 2015, with shares of 71 and 74 percent respectively.
Laptops, notebooks and tablets were used by 54 percent of the Dutch population last year, outside their homes or work. The share in Sweden was 7 percentage points lower.


To obtain information on how households and individuals use ICT services and the internet within the European Union, the European statistical offices have been conducting annual surveys on ICT usage in households and by individuals since 2005. Each year, a harmonised questionnaire is used by all 28 EU countries to enable comparison of the results. The survey population comprises people in the age category 16 to 74 years.

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