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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 4 June, 2020

Ireland's young people read less online news than any other EU country (but they love Facebook)

A new survey of internet habits across Europe is quite revealing.

shutterstock_245022199 Source: Shutterstock/Zurijeta

IRELAND HAS THE lowest rate of young people reading online news and magazines in Europe, according to EU-wide research.

The discovery is among a range of figures released by Eurostat which compared internet usage among young people across a total of 31 nations (the EU plus Iceland, Switzerland and Norway).

Overall, Irish people aged 16-29 were below the European average for most of the comparisons made, but were dead last in one particular statistic.

PastedImage-44940 Reading online news. Source: Eurostat

The stats show that 44% of Irish young people use the internet for reading online news and magazines, well below the European average of 66% and the lowest of all the countries surveyed.

On other educational uses for the internet Irish young people also scored low, with 16% accessing learning materials online. That’s also below the European average of 25% and the fifth lowest percentage overall.

Finland came out on top for reading both news and educational materials online and the Scandinavian nation ranks highly in many similar categories.

Finland has one of the most highly developed broadband systems in the world and six years ago made broadband a ‘legal right’ for its citizens.

Despite faring below average on educational uses for the internet, young people in Ireland are comfortably above average when it comes to ‘uploading self-created content to any website’ online.

On this measurement our young people are inside the top 10 with 61% doing so, above the European average of 48%.

As regards overall usage of social media, Irish young people are bang on the European average with 84% saying they use social networks.

PastedImage-40374 Use of social media. Source: Eurostat


Read: FactCheck: Is there faster broadband on the moon than in Roscommon? >

Read: The government is going to privatise the long-awaited rural broadband network >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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