60 percent of Germans use internet

As was reported yesterday by the German Association for Information Management, Telecommunications and New Media (BITKOM), 60% of Germans had been online by the end of the year 2006. This is 7% more than the EU average and this figure is to increase to almost 70% by 2010. In the Scandinavian countries and the USA the percentage of internet users already amounts to 75% and above. For the year 2010 this figure is expected to rise to about 88% in the USA. For the time being the biggest backlog in this respect is to be found in South European countries like Spain where just 40% of people use the internet and Eastern Europe where the average percentage of internet users is only 14%. All the figures mentioned above were established by the EITO market research institute.

“Internet usage is increasingly becoming the standard. However, there are still parts of society which do not make use of the advantages provided by new means of communication. These include elderly, poor and umemployed people”, says Willi Berchtold who is BITKOM chairman. In order to avoid the digital segregation of society, it is important to facilitate the internet use of these groups, for instance by teaching them computer skills or creating so-called barrier-free websites.

The PC is used in different ways too. Even though there is one PC in three quarters of all households, only 48% of all women over the age of 50 and 59% of all men aged over 50 use them. In the age bracket of youngsters between 15-17 years of age 79% use them. The favourite activity which PCs are used for is shopping: 61% of all German PC users over the age of 15 say that they use their computer for online shopping. In second place is booking of travel and listening to music with a percentage of about 44% each.

According to an EU survey conducted in 2005 there were two particularly marked differences with regard to the internet use by Germans as compared to the leader Denmark: 33% of German women said that they had never used the internet, whereas in Denmark the figure was just 16%. 28% of German jobless people have never been online, whereas in Denmark only 14% have never gone online. GERMAN