Girls more on social networks than boys

A large majority of Dutch youth aged 12 to 24 years use the internet (almost) every day; girls use the internet more often than boys to visit social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. The use of mobile phones, laptops and gaming computers with an internet connection rose between 2012 and 2018, as reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of newly compiled figures.


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Ninety-five percent of young people – between the ages of 12 and 25 – were online (almost) every day in 2018. This share was similar in 2012. There are hardly any young people who never use the internet. On the other hand, there has been a shift in the different types of devices used by young people to go on the internet. Just as in other age groups, the use of (desktop) PCs has decreased. More young people are using a mobile phone nowadays; internet use on mobile phones has increased from 86 percent in 2012 to 99 percent in 2018. In the same period, the use of gaming computers with an internet connection has increased from 47 to 59 percent.

Youth internet use, 12 to 24 years, by type of device 1) (%)
 20182012
Personal Computer (PC) or desktop63.384.2
Laptop or netbook95.891.5
Tablet74.4
Mobile phone or smartphone98.986.1
Gaming computer58.746.8
1) The category tablet became part of the survey in 2013. In that year, 57.7 percent of young people used a tablet to go on the internet.

More use of professional networks

In 2012, 67 percent of young people used social media for messaging purposes. This has gone up to 94 percent by 2018. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat are unrelentingly popular: 87 percent frequented these networks in 2018. In addition, more and more young people are active on professional networks such as LinkedIn: 14 percent of young people used these in 2012 versus one-quarter in 2018. Telephoning via the internet has increased from 34 to 77 percent.
Communicating via the internet, 12 to 24 years (%)
 20182012
Text messaging93.866.7
Social networking86.988.3
Professional networking24.114.0
Sending/receiving emails88.891.7
Telephoning over the Internet77.133.7

Social networks

Girls are more frequent users of social networks such as Facebook and Instagram than boys. In 2018, 91 procent of girls were on networks such as Facebook and Instagram, against 83 percent of boys. Other forms of online communication show barely any difference between boys and girls.
Communicating via the internet, 12 to 24 years, 2018 (%)
 BoysGirls
Text messaging93.893.8
Social networking82.991.1
Professional networking24.523.6
Sending/receiving emails87.889.8
Telephoning via the internet75.179.2

Boys more often online via gaming computer

In 2018, boys were more likely to go on the internet through a PC or gaming computer than girls. Seventy percent of boys used a PC to go online, versus 56 percent among girls; likewise, gaming computers were used by 70 percent of boys against 47 percent of girls.

Youth internet use, 12 to 24 years, by type of device, 2018 (%)
 BoysGirls
Personal Computer (PC) or desktop69.956.4
Laptop or netbook93.598.1
Tablet75.473.3
Mobile phone or smartphone98.499.4
Gaming computer70.346.5

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