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Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC)
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Portugal is the EU country with the greatest disparity in internet use

 - 11/10/2005

The Lusa news agency published the following news item:

Portugal is the European Union (EU) country where there is the greatest disparity in Internet use based on users' skills, according to a Eurostat study published today in Brussels. In the first quarter of 2004, only 14 percent of Portuguese people who had not completed the 12th Year of schooling accessed the Internet, whereas 84 percent of people who had attended higher education used the Web – a difference of 70 percentage points, the greatest in all the EU. The EU average is 52 percentage points.

Slovenia also fared badly as regards this imbalance (68 percentage points), Spain (61), United Kingdom (59) and Italy (58). The countries where this gap is felt least are Lithuania (11 percent), Sweden (24) and Germany (25). The institute responsible for European statistics points out the highest rate of Internet access in among students – roughly 91 percent of the Portuguese student population and 85 percent in Europe – and the lowest rate is among retirees, at only 3.0 percent of pensioners in Portugal and 13 percent in the EU as a whole.

Disparities in Internet use were also noted between workers (roughly 37 percent in Portugal and 60 percent in the EU as a whole) and the unemployed (15 percent in Portugal and 40 percent throughout Europe). The same study also highlights that the user spectrum – aged 16 to 74 – makes up 29 percent of the Portuguese and 47 percent of the European population. According to Eurostat, the gaps shown are especially due to insufficient infrastructures to access the Internet, a lack of stimulus to use new technologies and a low level of I.T. know-how.

Last updated ( 01/08/2011 )