37% of Europeans still out of the “e-society”

New statistics by Eurostat show strong differences between Member States and generations in terms of basic computer and internet skills.

The Statistical Office of the European Communities on 20 June issued a report on the level of e-literacy of Europeans in using computers and the Internet. It reveals that 37% of people aged between 16 and 74 in the EU25 had no basic computer skills – 39% for women, and 34 % for men. This average percentage covers serious variations according to the Member State of reference, age group and educational background of the surveyed population.

Greece (65% of the population without core e-skills), Italy (59%), Portugal (54%) and new Member States except Slovenia rank among the e-society’s bad pupils. By contrast, only 10% of Danes and 11% of Swedes are qualified as “non e-literate.”

Lack of basic computer knowledge is especially blatant among older generations (65% of the 55-74 years olds in the EU25), whereas the 16-24 age group appears as the most e-proficient, with 40% of those demonstrating “high-level e-skills.”

In all Member States for which data are available, the education level plays a crucial role in improving e-literacy. Among students of the EU25, the majority of respondents claimed to have medium or high level skills (41% and 43% respectively).

This survey highlights the urgency of renewed “e-Inclusion” commitments on the part of European authorities.

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