One hundred million Europeans, or 22 percent of the combined population of all European Union countries, have never used the Internet, according to a new European Commission study. Those who said they never used the Internet said it was due to high costs, a lack of interest, or poor basic computer skills. But that number is continuing to steadily decline -- in 2011, that percentage was 24 percent.
Greece had the highest percentage of people who had never used the Internet (65.1 percent), while Romania (47.7 percent) and Bulgaria (42 percent) placed second and third, respectively, on the list.
Sweden had the lowest percentage of people who had never used the Internet (5.4 percent), and the Netherlands (5.8 percent) and Denmark (5.8 percent) came in second and third, respectively, by that measure.
Check out this interactive map that shows what percentage of the population in specific EC countries have never used the Internet. A darker shade of red indicates that a large percentage of the population of that country has never used the Internet, and a lighter color indicates a low percentage that’s never used the Internet.
While there is a correlation between the median monthly cost of Internet access and the percentage of regular Internet users in that country, it isn’t very strong.
Take, for example, Bulgaria, where the median monthly cost of Internet access is among the lowest in the EC, at €34.50. Only 50 percent of all Bulgarians are regular Internet users. In Romania, where monthly Internet access is the least expensive, at €21.31, the percentage of the population who are regular Internet users is the lowest -- a mere 43 percent.
However, it is possible that the high cost of Internet access in Portugal (€78.34) and Italy (€61.36), might be why the percentage of the population of those countries who are regular Internet users is relatively low.
Here is an interactive chart that compares the median monthly cost of Internet service in EC countries to the percentage of the population who are regular Internet users.
Forty Four percent of all EC citizens use the Internet to interact with the government of their home countries in some way or the other, which is up three percentage points from the previous year. But there are far fewer people who are actually willing to file government forms online.
Check out this chart that compares the percentage of population that uses the Internet to interact with the government and the number of people who have actually sent a form to their respective government via the Internet:
Fifty percent of EU citizens have no or low computer skills, according to the EC study, and neither the amount nor the level of user skills has improved compared with the last year.
Here is a chart that juxtaposes the number of computers used in classrooms at the eighth grade level (per hundred students) in each country, with the percentage of the population that have created their own webpage: