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Press release 5.9.2006

Information technology has become part of Finns' everyday life

During the past ten years, the majority of Finns have adopted the new information and communications technology and at the same time the use of new tools has become part of everyday life. In 1996, one in four households had a PC, but today the respective proportion is two in three. At that time 7 per cent of households had Internet access, but in 2005 as many as 58 per cent. The data appear from Statistics Finland's report From Citizen to eCitizen. Results from statistical surveys about Finns' use of ICT in 1996-2005.

Nowadays nearly all households have a mobile phone, while in 1996 four in ten households had one. After 2002 the oldest age groups have acquired the largest numbers of mobile phones. Most of 70 to 74-year-olds now have a mobile phone. For Finns a mobile phone is primarily a means of personal contact: the total number of users of mobile added value services has risen only little. Ordering or buying by mobile phone is also still low.

Use of the Internet more regular and diverse

Internet use has become more regular, and more Finns than before use the Internet at home daily. Home Internet use among women aged under 35 has particularly increased during the past three years: almost all of them access the Internet at home at least once a week. The introduction of broadband access clearly increases Internet use of households. In November 2005 four out of five Internet connections were broadband.

Possibility to use the Internet from home in 1998, 2002 and 2005 by gender and age, %

The use of the Internet for everyday matters has become more diverse. In 1998 around 1.3 million Finns had used online services. In 2005 Internet users already numbered 2.8 million. The number of users of web banking services has grown most. In 1998 nearly half a million Finns used web banking and in 2005 as many as 2.2 million. More and more have also been online shopping. According to a survey made in spring 2005 at least 1.6 million Finns had been online shopping at least once. Around 25 per cent of the 15 to 74-year-old population, or nearly one million Finns, had made purchases via the Internet during the three months preceding the interview.

Households of one or two persons still had a home PC or Internet access less often than family households. The main reason for not having Internet access was the possibility to use it elsewhere. In one-person households the high cost of the use and the equipment has more effect on the decision not to have Internet access than among households of couples and family households.

The Internet is used least in Finland of all Nordic Countries

In Finland computers and the Internet are used more than average for the EU and OECD countries. Compared with the other Nordic Countries, Internet is still used least in Finland. In the Nordic Countries the use is lowest in Finland, even if usage at work and educational institutions were also taken into account in addition to home use.

The number of home PCs or Internet connections in households has grown only slowly in Finland in recent years. In contrast, usage applications of new information technology, such as broadband access, camera phone and digital set-top box have become widespread in Finland.

The report present results of the information society project

The report From Citizen to eCitizen provides an account of the results of the research project "The Finns and the Future Information Society" since it was launched in 1996. The project included extensive personal interviews made in 1996 and 1999, where all household members aged over 10 were interviewed. The third main dataset was collected in 2002 in connection with Statistics Finland's Leisure Survey. The fourth extensive dataset was gathered by a separate telephone survey in 2005. The interviews are based on random samples drawn from the Central Population Register. The questions for the 2002 and 2005 surveys are partly harmonised for the European Union. In addition, the project has followed the development of the information society using other datasets collected by Statistics Finland.

"The Finns and the Future Information Society" is a joint venture in which Statistics Finland's Survey Research Unit has benefited from collaboration and funding from a number of partners. For several years, funding has been received from TeliaSonera, the Finnet Association, Finland Post Ltd, and the Ministries of Education, Justice, Finance, Interior, and Transport and Communications. In addition, the Statistical Office of the European Union, Eurostat, has provided funding for the inclusion of the survey questions harmonised for the European Union.

Source: From Citizen to eCitizen. Results from statistical surveys about Finns' use of ICT in 1996-2005. Reviews 3/2006. Statistics Finland.

Inquiries: Mr Juha Nurmela +358 9 1734 2548

Director in charge: Mr Jussi Simpura

Links: Presentation of the publication on StatMarket