Internet usage in Europe - Statistics & Facts

Most individuals living in Europe are internet users. According to the latest estimates, roughly 90 percent of European households have internet access. The advanced infrastructure has contributed to an estimated 94.7 percent of households accessing the web in Northern Europe in 2023, up from 82 percent in 2010. Among the most connected European markets were Denmark, Norway, and Switzerland. According to the latest data, Russia was the European country with the highest number of internet users, with over an estimated 123 million online users. The latter also spent the most time online compared to other countries, with a daily internet usage of eight hours and six minutes. Among European markets, users in Germany spent the least time using the internet with only five hours and 15 minutes of use per day.

Number of internet users in Europe is still increasing

The number of internet users in Southern Europe is projected to grow to 208 million by 2027 from approximately 195 million in 2023. Eastern Europe’s online population is expected to reach 215 million in 2027 from approximately 205 million in 2023. The central and western parts of Europe will have an estimated 307 million internet users by 2028, up from nearly 296 million in 2023.

Online activities of Europeans

The most common reason people across all European regions go online is to find information. This was the primary reason for around 80 percent of internet users in Southern European markets like Greece and Portugal. In the Western European markets, nearly six in ten people used the internet to research how to do certain things. Northern Europeans actively used the internet to keep up with friends and family. Finding new ideas or inspiration was a common reason for up to 61 percent of internet users of Eastern European countries like Romania and Czechia to browse online.

Attitudes toward the internet

Internet access is considered an essential need for everyday life. Across selected European markets, most internet users stated they could no longer imagine their life without the internet. Almost half of the users in France said that it is crucial to have mobile internet access in any place at any time. In Spain, around a quarter of users said it was important for them to have access to a 5G network. Around two in ten users in the Netherlands said that they found it too insecure to save sensitive data online. In comparison, only 23 percent of online users in Russia said they were well protected against viruses.

Data privacy and law enforcement

In Europe, the majority of internet users are privacy conscious. Around 58 percent of those going online regularly in the United Kingdom said they worried about how companies might use their personal data. In Austria, more than half of the internet users said they declined cookies on websites at least some of the time. Since the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union in May 2018, big tech companies have been under constant observation for data privacy violations. The largest fine for GDPR violation as of June 2023 was the 1.2 billion euro fine issued against Meta Platforms by the data privacy authority of Ireland for continuing to transfer the personal data of its users to the United States. 1133337 Ireland, thus, is the leading county by the amount of fines imposed for GDPR violations. The second is Luxembourg, with over 746 million euros of issued fines. Non-compliance with general data processing principles of GDPR was the most common violation companies have received fines for.

Key insights

Number of internet users in Europe
725.8 m
Country in Europe with the highest number of internet users
Share of individuals in the EU who use the internet daily

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