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From where you stand, it might seem like everyone in your sight is either chatting, updating a status update, tweeting or sharing a picture but elsewhere there are people to whom the word Internet means nothing. According to the latest annual survey from Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics offices, as much as one in five Europeans aged 16 to 74 have still never used the internet.
Eighteen percent of people surveyed answered “never” to the question “When did you last use the Internet?” down from 43% in 2006. The drop is mostly down to the widespread use of smartphones and mobile apps.
The survey asked general questions about the internet, without defining it. But it also asked more detailed questions about what devices people used to consume the internet and if it is through the laptops, desktops, smartphones or other devices. It further asked them what they use the internet for, such as emails, social networks, gaming, browsing and shopping.
The number of Europeans who said they use the internet daily has improved since 2006, jumping to 65% from 31%. This is an impressive increase but that still means nearly a third of Europeans don’t use the internet every day.
In the countries that were surveyed, the data obtained showed that within Europe countries there are differences. This is not because some countries do not have access to the internet but because people choose not to care for it.
Less than five percent of people in Norway, Denmark and Luxembourg said they have never used the internet. In Iceland only one percent of people had never used the Internet, while 94% said they used it every day. The number of Brits who said they had never used the internet dropped to 6% in 2014 from 29% in 2006.
Romania had the most people offline, with 39% saying they had never used the Internet. Greece and Italy has about one-third of people said they had never used the Internet. Bulgaria (37%), Greece (33%), Italy (32%) and Portugal (30%) were also high, while Denmark (3%), Luxembourg (4%) and the Netherlands (5%) were among the countries with the lowest incidences of people who’d never used the internet.
In 2014, more people said they saved files on cloud storage space, while a considerable amount of users remain unaware of the existence of cloud services despite being internet users. Among internet users who were aware of the service, many had reservations about its safety, especially in the wake of high-profile leaks. Young people aged 16-24 are three times more likely to use cloud-based services than people in the 55-74 age group.