Internet in the EU - Eurostat statistics

The Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat) has recently released statistical data, with respect to 2008, on access to and use of the Internet in the 27 Member States of the European Union (EU), as well as in Norway, Iceland and Croatia. This data is based on surveys which covered households containing at least one person aged 16-74, and individuals aged 16-74.

The figures released show that over the past three years, the percentage of households with Internet access rose from 49% to 60% in parallel with the use of broadband, which saw an increase of 30% in 2006 to 48% in 2008. In Portugal, Internet access rose from 35% in 2006 to 46% in 2008, and the use of broadband grew from 24% to 39% over the same period.

Meanwhile, a third of respondents (32%) reported using the Internet to make reservations for travel and hotels, with higher incidence in countries such as Finland (58%), Luxembourg and the Netherlands (50%) and Denmark (47%). With very similar numbers, there was also found to be widespread use of the Internet for online banking services, to interact with public entities or to search for information about health.

As far as Portugal is concerned, Eurostat's figures show that 22% of respondents used the Internet to get information about health, 20% for reading newspapers or magazines online and 18% to interact with public entities.

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