Italy Internet Usage being Spurred by Young

Italy has had a legacy of being somewhat behind the curve when it comes to broadband penetration and usage.

When you look at internet users on the whole, Italy doesn’t just perform poorly in comparison to its large western European partners, but it is beaten in the stats by several former Eastern Bloc nations too. For example the below chart from The Digital Agenda for Europe, states that up to 2012 Italy had a lower share of people partaking in online commerce than Poland, Croatia and the Czech Republic, let a lone the UK.

Chart1

Percentage of Individuals Ordering Goods or Services online, by All Individuals (aged 16-74)

Including: UK, European Union average, Czech Republic, Croatia, Poland and Italy.

Percentage of Individuals Ordering Goods or Services online, by All Individuals

Perhaps even more startling is the amount of people that have never been online in Italy. Each country has a proportion of the population who either has no access to the internet (either through lack of broadband or lack of hardware) or of a certain generation who silly don’t want to go online, but Italy’s numbers are quite extraordinary.

A quite unbelievable 37% of the Italian population has never used the Internet (as of 2012) according to Digital Agenda EU. With 19% of the Czech population and just 10% of the UK population ever once being online.

Chart 2

Individuals who have never used the Internet, by All Individuals (aged 16-74)
Including: UK, European Union average, Czech Republic, Croatia, Poland and Italy.

Screen Shot 2013-07-09 at 14.11.41

 

Slow Change in Italian Internet Usage

Things are changing, all be it quite slowly. According to Emarketer Penetration is set to rise by a measly 4% each year for the next few years, with Italian internet penetration to be 59.3% in 2017

Chart 3.

Internet Users and Penetration in Italy 2011-2017

Internet Users and Penetration in Italy 2011-2017

Key demographics driving penetration in Italy

Perhaps one of the main issues for Internet take up is the ageing Italian population. But Internet usage and penetration seems to be moving in the right direction when the statistics take in a wider demographic of youth in Italy. In a recent study compiled by Audiweb it stated that 79% of individuals from 11-74 had access to the internet through at least one device.

When taking a closer look at ages, 95% of 11-17 year olds and 92% of 18-34 used the internet. However only 55% of 55-74 year olds said they had used the internet.

Chart 4

Italian Internet users demographic breakdown

age group breakdown of italian internet users

The usage of mobile phone internet usage is growing rapidly (all be it from a low base). Emarketer estimated the number od monthly mobile web users of any age at 16.2m in Italy last year (2012) and has forecast growth at around 20-30% over the next few years.

Chart5.

Mobile Phone Internet Users and Penetration in Italy 2011-2017

Mobile Phone Internet Users and Penetration in Italy 2011-2017