6 Key Internet Trends across Europe

Posted: 12/07/2019 16:39:14


I came across an interesting report called by the very easy to get title Eurobarometer 497.  The report is focused on GDPR and had some great insights as to how the use of the internet has developed in Ireland and across the Europe.  The report results are based on a telephone survey that was conducted in March 2019 and it is the fourth in a series.  It involved over 27,000 respondents, although the number of responses did vary across the different questions

Key determinations in level of use

Geography - urban areas had high usage and home is still the biggest access point to the internet
Sex – men use the internet more than women
Age - the younger age groups more likely to use internet on a daily basis
Household size – larger houses have more regular daily users
Level of Education – the higher the education levels the more likelihood to use the internet

Use of the Internet 

While the figures in this category remain relatively stable both across Europe and in Ireland, they are none the less impressive with just over 8 out of 10 people surveyed using the internet. Three quarters use it daily and 9% use it often or sometimes. 14% say they never use the internet and 2% say that they have no access.

The country with highest level of daily use is the Netherlands with a whopping 97% using internet on a daily basis and the lowest is Romania with 51% daily users.  Ireland with 79% daily users is ranked a respectable 9th on the list.  However, respondents in Ireland were 3% less likely to use the internet on a daily basis at the time of survey than they were in 2018.

The primary place to use the internet is still at home (83%) with mobile devices not far behind at 77%.  The bad news for employers is that 47% of employees use the mobile to access the internet in the workplace.  It is no surprise that the main growth area since the survey started in 2017 is the use of the internet on the mobile which has grown from 71% to 77% and daily usage rates has increased by 8 points since 2017.

It is easy to see why with this on growing trend of use of the mobile phone access that the major on line consumer focused digital advertiser pushes mobile access so hard.

Social Demographic Profiling

Men are marginally more likely to use internet than women with 77% v’s 72%.  In addition, women are more likely to say they never use it 17% v’s 12% for men.  And they won’t answer their phone if they don’t want to either – unless its their teenager on a night out - then they always answer – no bitter memories.
No surprise for guessing that the younger the respondent the far more likely they are to use the internet it’s 98% daily use for 15-24 year olds and 94% for 25-39 year olds.

I assume these figures are no surprise of anyone with a child who has a smartphone.  Parents soon learn the woes of going on holiday with poor or no Wi-Fi. Simple rule – kids not happy holiday over!  So, when you are booking your next holiday, sure bring all the board games you like but, make sure you have Wi-Fi.  Holiday destinations please note Wi-Fi is a seller for families, even those who you may think should know better.

By the way it’s only 49% usage for those aged 55 or over who are daily users of the internet. God how boring that they don’t share everything on line – just goes to prove they must have no life or are too busy living and engaging with other people – sorry I know I’m beginning to sound revolutionary.


It seems education just make things worse with 99% students using the internet daily (we will be generous here and assume it’s for studying – but let’s be honest I doubt it). 96% of managers use it daily and for white collar workers it’s at 93% daily usage.

Household Size

Household size is another key driver to on line activity. The bigger the household the more likely to have high levels of daily users at 90% versus only 59% for people living on their own – probably all out having a good time – no I am not jealous and I wouldn’t swap my life back to when the only worry was beer in the fridge I mean who would want that!


Geography also plays a big part. Those in a more urbanised environment are more likely to use the Internet daily: 80% living in towns are daily users, compared to 76% living in small/mid-sized towns and 68% living in rural villages.  Please no comments about rural broadband.


Interestingly, I admit this in a nerdy way, respondents who have heard of GDPR are much more likely to use the Internet daily than those who have not (83% vs 60%). Respondents who have not heard of GDPR are more likely to say they never use the Internet (26% vs 8% who have heard of GDPR).  So, brands and all internet suppliers be advised, get GDPR compliant, it pays dividends.


So, it looks likes the PC at home with a family of 4 or more based in an urban environment is the hot bed of daily usage. This continues to grow with increasing levels of education.  The highest growth areas are in mobile usage and those that are GDPR compliant.
I will shortly be reviewing into the use of social media from the same report.

But next up I will have a blog on the residential property market.

Dara Keogh
CEO, GeoDirectory

Source document Special Eurobarometer 487 (publication June 2019)