The digital gap between generations is decreasing

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 1st quarter of 2014, 83% of households in Estonia had access to the Internet at home. The gap between the younger and older population in computer and Internet use is decreasing.

Compared to the same period of the previous year, the percentage of households with an Internet connection has increased by 4 percentage points.  Almost all households with children (98%) and three-quarters of households without children (78%) had the possibility to use the Internet at home. While Internet access at home is the least common in single-person households (71%), the share of those having Internet access at home has grown the most (two-fold) in specifically this group in the previous five years.

Although a fixed broadband connection (wired or wireless) is still the most prevalent among homes with Internet access, the share of fixed broadband connections at homes has decreased in the last two years, giving way to the use of mobile internet connections. In the 1st quarter of 2014, 61% of households with Internet access at home used a mobile internet connection (in 2010, the share was only 6%).

Among persons aged 16–74, 84% have used a computer and the Internet. Compared to the same period of the previous year, the share of Internet users has increased by five percentage points. Although the older population uses computers and the Internet less than the young, the gap between younger and older Internet users has still been decreasing from year to year. 70% of 55–64-year-olds and 44% of 65–74-year-olds had used the Internet, and the share of Internet users has increased the most in those age groups, compared to the previous year (by 7 and 13 percentage points, respectively).

In addition to the growth in the number of Internet users, the frequency of Internet use has also increased. In the 1st quarter of 2014, 86% of Internet users used it daily (80% in 2013). Nine out of ten 16–74-year-olds had recently (in the last 3 months) used Internet banking, sent e-mails, sought information and read the news on the Internet. 60% had participated in social networks, 50% had made telephone calls via the Internet, and one-third had watched television or listened to radio programmes online.

49% of 16–74-year-olds used the Internet for purchasing goods or services. The products and services purchased online the most were: clothes or sports goods, travel and accommodation services, and tickets for concerts, cinema, theatre and other events.

Slightly more than three-quarters of enterprises with 10 and more employees have a website, which is mainly used for presenting products and services. A quarter of enterprises having  a webpage provides information on job openings on their site or offers the possibility to submit job applications online. Online ordering or booking is available in 14% of enterprises having a webpage.

Year by year, the number of enterprises using the ID card has been growing steadily. Estonian enterprises use the ID card mainly for digital signatures but also for user verification in different information systems. Nearly a fifth of enterprises are very satisfied and a quarter of enterprises are satisfied with the e-services supplied by the government.

Statistics Estonia studies the use of information technology in households and among persons aged 16–74 as an independent survey since 2014 (from 2005 to 2013 it was part of the Labour Force Survey). The survey is carried out in the 2nd quarter; the reference period is the 1st quarter. A household is a group of persons who live at the same address and share joint financial resources and whose members consider themselves to be members of one household, while a family is based on family relationships or kinship.

Statistics Estonia has surveyed the use of information technology in enterprises since 2001. In 2014, approximately 3,000 enterprises participated in the survey. The survey involves enterprises with 10 or more persons employed.

The use of information technology in households, by individuals aged 16–74 and in enterprises is studied by statistical organisations in all the Member States of the European Union on the basis of a harmonised methodology.

Source: Statistics Estonia
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