Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, has issued its latest 'Internet usage in 2009 - Households and Individuals' report of the 27 EU member states. It reveals that UK broadband Internet access has jumped by 7% this past year to 69% (EU average 56%) and the proportion of households with internet access topped 77% (EU average 65%); just behind front the runners - Netherlands (90%), Luxembourg (87%), Sweden (86%), Denmark (83%), Germany (79%) and Finland (78%)
Nearly 90 % of the EU population with high formal education used the internet regularly, more than twice as much as the share for the population with low formal education. For example, 40% of those aged 25-54 with no or low formal education used the internet at least once a week. This rises to 69% for medium formal education and 92% for high formal education (the latter would presumably also have more cash to spare).
Regular internet use by men and women increased by more than 10% in each age group between 2006 and 2009; though gender gaps have closed. For example, in 2006 some 55% of men and 48% of woman aged 25-54 used the internet least once a week; in 2009 this figure grew to 70% and 66% respectively.
In 2009, 37% of individuals aged 16-74 in the EU27 had bought or ordered goods or services over the internet in the last 12 months. This share varied considerably between Member States, ranging from 2% in Romania to 66% in the United Kingdom. The top reason for those who did not buy goods online was because they prefer to shop in person (over 80%).
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