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One in five Irish adults has never used the internet

Statistics compiled by the European Union show that 21 per cent of people aged 18 to 74 have never been online.

Image: Peter Byrne/PA Archive

A NEW SURVEY published by the European Union has shown that over one fifth of Ireland’s adults have never used the internet.

The data, published today by the EU’s statistics agency Eurostat, shows that Ireland ranked close to the European average for the exposure of adults to online services.

On average across the 27 member states, 24 per cent – just under a quarter – of adults had never been online, even though many may own internet-ready mobile phones or other devices.

Ireland’s non-participation rate was precisely half of what it was when the last similar survey was carried out in 2006 – when 42 per cent of adults said they had never been online.

11 of the 27 members had higher participation rates in the latest survey; Sweden had the greatest internet saturation, with only 5 per cent of adults saying they had never used the internet.

Other Scandinavian countries also boasted high internet penetration – Norway, which is not an EU member, also had a 95 per cent usage rate, while all but 7 per cent of Danes and 9 per cent of Finnish people had used the internet at least once.

Romania had the lowest usage, with over half of the adult public – some 54 per cent – saying they’d never been online.

Statistics published last week by the CSO showed that 81 per cent of households had internet access, with 78 per cent of homes connected to the internet, the majority of them via broadband.

Nearly 80 per cent of Irish households have internet access >

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Gavan Reilly

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