Increase in use of government websites

Nearly three-quarters of the Dutch population aged 12 years or older accessed government websites in 2017. This share was 4 percentage points lower in the previous year. Dutch people used these sites mainly to look up information, according to the latest figures from the survey ‘ICT usage in households and by individuals’ conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Use of government websites by Dutch people aged 12 yrs or older
 2017 (%)2016 (%)
Government authorities6863
Other public institutions5451

In 2017, 73 percent of the Dutch population visited a government website, equivalent to around 10.7 million people. Government websites include, amongst others, municipal sites relating to civil affairs or sites of tax authorities, web pages for submitting address changes, looking up information on social facilities or everything regarding documents such as passports, driving licences and marriage or birth certificates.

Websites of other public authorities are also considered government websites, such as websites of water suppliers, healthcare and educational institutions.

Purpose of using government websites by Dutch people aged 12 yrs or older
 2017 (%)2016 (%)
Looking up information6865
Submitting documents5149
Downloading documents4743

Mainly looking up information

Of those who visited government and public websites, more than two-thirds were looking for information. Nearly half of them downloaded documents, while slightly over half submitted documents online.

People consulting websites of government authorities outnumbered those visiting websites of other public institutions (68 versus 54 percent).

Use of government websites by Dutch people aged 12 yrs or older, 2017
Education level
25 to 44 85.4
45 to 64 79.3
65 to 74 66.3
12 to 24 63.3
75 yrs or older33.6

Government sites mainly visited by higher educated

Out of 25 to 44-year-olds, 85 percent accessed government websites in 2017. These sites were more likely to be used by higher educated than by medium or low-skilled people. The share of higher educated people visiting these sites was twice as high as among low-skilled people.

Men use the Internet more frequently to consult the government and other public authorities than women; around 76 percent of men and nearly 70 percent of women.

Netherlands outside of top 3 EU countries for using government websites

Although the Netherlands was leading in internet use within the EU in 2017, it did not take up first place in terms of e-government activities of individuals via websites. Our country fell just outside the top three.

According to the European research method, 79 percent of Dutch people between the ages of 16 and 74 used e-government facilities in 2017. Denmark, Sweden and Finland had a higher score, namely 83 percent or more. The share was substantially smaller in many Southern and Eastern European countries.

Within the European Union, 49 percent of the people visited a government website.