Adults in the Netherlands have the most digital skills in Europe

Adults in the Netherlands have the most digital skills in Europe

Data released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and the European Statistical Office Eurostat has revealed that the Netherlands is a leading country in Europe when it comes to digital competence and online skills. 

Majority of Dutch adults possess basic computer skills

According to the ICT use of households and individuals study, conducted by CBS and Eurostat, a very impressive 79 percent of 16 to 75-year-olds in the Netherlands possess at least basic computer skills, compared to the European average of 54 percent. 

CBS explains that, in the survey, digital skills are determined by the number of activities in five areas:

  • Information and digital literacy
  • Online communication
  • Computers and online services
  • Privacy protection
  • Software use

Adults are considered to have basic skills if they are able to carry out at least one activity in the information and communication categories and one or two in the other areas.

In the Netherlands, 27 percent of adults were found to have basic skills, while a further 52 percent were classified as having more than the basic necessary skills, putting the Netherlands in first place ahead of Finland, where the figures were 31 percent and 48 percent, respectively.

Digital skills amongst adults in the Netherlands

The study found that adults in the Netherlands were most likely to possess online communication skills, with 93 percent of 16 to 75-year-olds able to use social media, email, or communicate with others online.

On the other hand, people in the Netherlands were found to be less competent when it came to privacy protection and software use - but the country still managed to achieve above-average results in these areas. 

Unsurprisingly, huge disparities were found between different age groups. 64 percent of 25 to 35-year-olds possessed at least basic computer skills, compared to 28 percent of 65 to 75-year-olds. On the whole, men were found to be slightly more competent than women, as were adults who went to university or another higher education institution.

Victoria Séveno


Victoria Séveno

Victoria grew up in Amsterdam, before moving to the UK to study English and Related Literature at the University of York and completing her NCTJ course at the Press Association...

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