Press Release 25/09/2019


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80.2% of the population of the Basque Country are internet users in 2019

The gender gap in internet and computer use has narrowed but it remains unchanged in online services and purchases

The number of internet users aged 15 and over in the Basque Country stood at 1,499,100 in the first quarter of 2019, accounting for 80.2% of the overall Basque population in this age group, according to Eustat data. This percentage was up 1.5 percentage points compared to the same period last year.

At the provincial level no significant differences can be observed between the three provinces. Vizcaya is in first place with 80.6% of people using the internet, closely followed by Álava with 80.3% and finally Gipuzkoa with 79.7%.

As regards the Basque provincial capitals, Vitoria-Gasteiz, is the capital with the highest internet user population (80.3%), followed by Bilbao (79.8%) and Donostia-San Sebastián (78.8%).

Greater differences can be identified at the regional level, with a difference of up to 10 points in the percentage of people online between Plentzia-Mungia (84.2%) and Montaña Alavesa (75.8%).

By occupation, practically the entire student population (99.6%) are internet users, followed by people in work (97.3%), while just over half of the population who are not in active employment or are unemployed (55.8%) are users, although it is this group, which shows room for improvement, that displays the greatest increase (1.3 points) compared to 2018.

In terms of age, the increases in internet users aged 65 and over (3.9 percentage points) and those between 55 and 64 (3 points) are worthy of note. Despite the increase, these are the only age groups with user figures below 95%. The biggest difference between age brackets is between people aged 25 to 34, who are almost all users (99.5%), and those aged 65 and over, who stand at 37.3%.

The preferred language for web browsing is Spanish (98.4%), followed by Basque (24.9%) and English (20.3%).

The most frequently used services are associated with communication and access to information

40.7% of the Basque population has bought goods and services online in the last three months, one percentage point higher than in 2018. This represents 50.7% of the internet user population.

The services used most by people online are those associated with communication and access to information. The most common include: searching for information on goods and services (83.8%), receiving or sending email (79.4%) and reading news stories, newspapers or current affairs magazines (74.3%).

It is worth noting that WhatsApp and other similar mobile apps are the most used, regardless of internet users’ age, sex and occupation, at over 90% in every case. By age, the people who use these apps the least are 65 and over and even in this case, 90.8% of internet users in this age group access them. They represent 33.9% of the total population in this age bracket, 5,1 percentage points higher than the previous year.

The gender gap in the internet user population has decreased

The gender gap narrowed to 4.3 points, half a point less than in 2018. Men using the internet represent 82.5% of the male population, while women users account for 78.2% of the female population.

As regards computer use, the gender gap stood at 7.6 percentage points, 2.8 percentage points lower than in 2018. Men using computers represent 70.4% of the male population, compared to 62.8% of women.

There are also differences by gender in the services used online. Women use more health services, such as searching for information or making a medical appointment (17.4 percentage points higher), participate more on social media (+5.2 points) and take more online courses (+3.2 points) than men. Men, meanwhile, use more services related to games - they play or download more - (+6,8) and information - they read more news stories, newspapers or current affairs magazines - (+5,6), watch more films or videos (+5.2) and listen to more music (+4.8) than women.

In e-commerce there are also differences in the products and services purchased according to gender. Women buy more sports equipment and clothing (more than 10 percentage points), travel services - public transport tickets, car hire, etc. - (+5.5 points) and tickets for performances (+5.1 points) than men. Men, meanwhile, purchase more music (+13.5 points), online study materials (+9.8 points) and computer equipment (+6 points), than women.

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment continues to be increasingly present in Basque households

In the first quarter of 2019, 81.3% of families (725,700) had an internet connection at home, an increase of 18,300 families (1.3 points) compared to 2018. This means that 87.4% of the population aged 15 and over (1,632,000) have home access to the web, 23,700 people more than in 2018.

Moreover, 70.9% of households in the Basque Country have computers, which accounts for 78.3% of the population.

Mobile phones are present in 95.2% of households, which represents 97.2% of the population.

As regards households with audiovisual equipment, it should be noted that 37.4% have pay-TV, 96,000 more families (10.8 points) than in 2018. This means that 41.7% of the population, 224,700 more people than in 2018, has this service at home.


Note: The data given in this press release refer to the population aged 15 and over and their homes.

For further information:

Eustat - Euskal Estatistika Erakundea / Basque Statistics Institute C/ Donostia-San Sebastián, 1 01010 Vitoria-Gasteiz Press Service: Tel: 945 01 75 62

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80.2% of the population of the Basque Country are internet users in 2019

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Survey on the Information society. Families
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