The number of people living in Belgium who have never used the internet in the past three months continues to decrease. Among households with children, they practically all have access to the internet.
Just 4% of people living in Belgium aged 16 to 74 have never used the internet, according to figures published by Statbel on Monday. Ten years ago, this figure still stood at 13%. However, this figure remains high among people with serious long-term health problems and 'low-educated' women (15% and 13%, respectively).
Overall, the percentage of households with access to the internet has increased from only 78% in 2012 to 94% by this year. Among families with school-age children, around 99% have access to the internet, while this figure is 93% for households without children.
There is also a noticeable difference in the number of devices or systems to go online with: households with school-age children have an average of 7.5 compared to 4.3 among households without children.
Statbel's figures showed that the number of people who made phone calls over the internet, with or without video, significantly increased from 58% in 2019 to 75% in 2022, while the use of instant messaging apps such as (Skype, Messenger, Whatsapp, Viber, Snapchat) increased from 58% in 2019 to 69% in 2022.
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The pandemic also had an effect on people's social lives, playing a role in the increasing figures. This was also mirrored in the number of people taking an online course, which went up from 9% to 21% this year.
This increased usage was also reflected in how present the internet is in people's daily lives at home, as 10% of Belgians aged 16-74 used virtual home assistant appliances such as Google Home and Siri.