Internet use is increasing in Estonia

According to Statistics Estonia*, 93.2% of households in Estonia have an internet connection at home. The number of households with an internet connection has increased by 13,000 compared with the previous year, when there were 533,300 such households. There are also more users of e-commerce.

Sigrid Saagpakk, analyst at Statistics Estonia, explained that the internet and online services play an increasingly bigger role in people’s lives. “By age group, the share of internet users is the highest among young people, as almost 100% of them use the internet. Internet use is the most frequent among 16–24-year-olds, with 96% of them using the internet several times a day,” said Saagpakk.

The older the internet user, the less frequently they use the internet. “58% of respondents in the age group 65–74 said that they use the internet several times a day. On the other hand, there are also people who use the internet every month but not every week. For example, in 2023, such users account for 4% of 65–74-year-olds,” noted Saagpakk.

E-shopping is more popular among women; the most popular type of goods is clothing

Among 16–74-year-olds, members of 615,200 households have used e-commerce. Compared with the previous year, this number has increased by about 45,000. The share of e-shoppers among women is 66%, which is bigger than among men (58%).

The items most commonly purchased online are clothes, shoes and sports goods (purchased by 315,800 persons). Other popular goods are films and music (purchased by 241,500 persons) and books (purchased by 176,000 persons). Estonian residents also use the internet to purchase travel and accommodation services (67% of users of e-commerce) and insurance policies (52%). In the second quarter of 2023, 55% of e-shoppers purchased concert, cinema or theatre tickets.

The most popular online services are internet banking (91.1%) and e-mail (90.6%). Many people also use the internet for reading newspapers and magazines (84.9%) and searching for information (84.6%).

“Estonian residents prefer to buy goods and services from sellers based in Estonia (89%), but 43% have also bought from sellers from other EU countries,” said Saagpakk.

Digital skills are improving

Along with the increase in the number of internet users, people have become better at using the computer. This is illustrated by the fact that, compared with 2021, there has been a rise in the number of internet users who have restricted cookies. Saagpakk said that in 2023 there are already 381,000 persons who have knowingly changed their browser settings to limit the ways websites can collect information about them.

“The main activity for which people use the computer is moving files, for example, to download files from a digital camera or move files from a smart phone or the cloud to their computer (64%). Computer users also install software or apps (60%) and use word processing software (61%). There has definitely been an improvement in digital skills across all age groups,” added Saagpakk.

* The use of ICT by persons aged 16–74, households and enterprises is studied by statistical offices in all European Union countries according to a harmonised methodology. Statistics Estonia conducts the survey on the use of ICT in households and by 16–74-year-olds annually in the second quarter.