Six percent never use the Internet

Six percent of the Dutch population aged 12 years and over - around 886 thousand people - indicated in 2018 they had never used the Internet, as against 10 percent in 2012. Non-users are mainly seen among the over-75s. This is according to recent results from the survey ‘ICT usage in households and by individuals 2018’ conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

Never used the Internet
Leeftijd2018 (%)2012 (%)
12 to 24 yrs1
25 to 44 yrs21
45 to 64 yrs46
65 to 74 yrs1043
75 yrs and over3266

Around half of Dutch people over the age of 12 who never use the Internet were 75 years or older. However, this group has become smaller. In 2012, 66 percent of the over-75s stated they had never been online. This share fell to 50 percent in 2015 and to 32 percent in 2018.

In the age category 65 to 74 years, the share of Dutch people who had never been on the web was lower as well: 10 percent, down from 43 percent in 2012. In the 45 to 64 age bracket, this share was 4 percent. Those between the ages of 25 and 45 almost all surf the Internet.

Over-75s not using the Internet
Geslacht2018 (%)2012 (%)

Older non-users often low-skilled and female

Among the over-75s, women are more likely than men not to use the Internet. In 2018, 41 percent of women and 20 percent of men aged 75 years and over indicated they never surf the web. In other age categories as well, those not active are mainly women.

People over the age of 75 with a low education level are more likely to be inactive (44 percent) than their highly educated peers (11 percent). In the other age groups as well, mainly low-skilled people indicate they do not surf the web.

Education level of over-75s not using the Internet
Opleidingsniveau2018 (%)2012 (%)

Lack of interest or online skills

Of those who did not use the Internet, 46 percent also did not have home access. The remaining 54 percent did have home access to the web, but did not use it.

People without a home internet connection indicated that they simply had no interest in the Internet or considered it not useful (64 percent). Other common reasons were a lack of knowledge or skills (35 percent). Another 15 percent cited privacy and security as a reason not to use the Internet, or found the necessary equipment too expensive.

Daily internet use

In 2018, 86 percent of Dutch people were online every day, as against 76 percent in 2012. Of the 12 to 44-year-old highly educated, more than 95 percent were daily internet users. In the age category 75 years and over, 45 percent also surf the web on a daily basis.