Nearly 3 in 5 Dutch people used online platforms in 2019

© Hollandse Hoogte / Peter Hilz
In 2019, 58 percent of the Dutch population aged 12 years and over had made use of online platforms to order or exchange goods or services. They were most likely to order meals, buy second-hand goods or book an accommodation. This is evident from a survey on ICT usage among households and individuals in 2019, conducted by Statistics Netherlands (CBS). Last year, this annual CBS survey was carried out among 5.6 thousand people aged 12 years and over.

Platform economy, 2019
Deeleconomie (% of persons aged 12 yrs and over)
Bought meals from a restaurant,
fast food chain or caterer
Bought second-hand goods32
Booked an accommodation20
Ordered a transport service8
Hired a person to do a job4
Rented a car2

Digital platforms make it increasingly possible to bring together supply of and demand for goods, services and information. Digital platforms not only function as an intermediary between businesses and consumers, but increasingly often facilitate interactions between consumers themselves (sub-economy).

Digital platforms are most frequently used by private consumers, e.g. to order meals. Last year, 35 percent of the Dutch population ordered meals from a restaurant, fast food chain or caterer via a digital platform such as Thuisbezorgd or Deliveroo. In addition, 32 percent bought second-hand goods via an app or website such as Marktplaats. One in five booked an accommodation through an online platform.

On a much smaller scale, Dutch people used these platforms to order transport services (8 percent), hire people for jobs (4 percent) or hire a car from a private person (2 percent).

One in five book accommodation online from a private host

Many Dutch people (aged 12 years and over) use an online platform to book an accommodation offered by a private host: in 2019, this was done by 20 percent of the population. The most common reasons were the good price/quality ratio and the location, cited by 65 and 54 percent respectively.

The wide range of accommodations was mentioned by 41 percent of the respondents. Personal contact with the host, e.g. to receive tips about where to go in the area, was cited by 17 percent as a reason to book the accommodation in this way.

Reasons to book private accommodation via an online platform, 2019
Reden om accommodatie bij een particulier persoon geboektShare (% of persons aged 12 yrs and over)
Good price/quality ratio65
Location of the accommodation54
Wide choice of accommodation41
Personal contact with the host17
Other reason7
No specific reason14

Mainly 25 to 44-year-olds are active on online platforms

Last year, 80 percent of 25 to 44-year-olds used one or more online platforms. This share was 64 percent among 12 to 24-year-olds and 57 percent among 45 to 64-year-olds. The use of digital platforms is least popular among the over-65s; they were used by 23 percent.

In addition to age, digital skills also play a role in the use of online platforms. People with low digital skills were less likely to use platforms than those with digital skills: 30 versus 78 percent.

In addition, lower-educated people are less likely to use digital platforms than people with a high education level: 37 against 74 percent. There is also a gender gap: 61 percent of men were active users, versus 54 percent of women.

Use of digital platforms, 2019
BeginShare (% of persons aged 12 yrs and over)
12 to 24 yrs64
25 to 44 yrs80
45 to 64 yrs57
65 yrs and over23
Education level
Digital skill level
Above basic78

Nine in ten are online every day

The Dutch are more digitally active than ever. The share who are online on a daily basis rose from 81 percent in 2015 to 88 percent in 2019. The most common internet activities were e-mailing (89 percent), using social media (87 percent) online banking (84 percent) and searching for information on particular goods or services (84 percent).