Press release 15.12.2005

ICT used less in Finland than in other Nordic Countries

Nearly four out of five 16 to 74-year-olds used the Internet in the Nordic Countries in spring 2005. Internet use was most common in Iceland, where the Internet was used by 86 per cent of the population and the second most common in Sweden, where 81 per cent utilised the Internet. Only 73 per cent of Finns made use of the Internet, which was the least of all Nordic Countries. This appears from the publication Nordic Information Society Statistics 2005 released by the Nordic Council of Ministers and the national statistical institutes of the Nordic Countries.

Over 80 per cent of Icelandic households had an Internet connection at home, in Finland good one half. As many as almost two thirds of households in Iceland had broadband at home and nearly one half in Denmark, but only good one third in Finland.

Internet connection and broadband at home in spring 2005,
percentage of households

In early 2004 the Internet was used regularly, i.e. at least weekly, by 63 to 77 per cent of 16 to 74-year-olds in the Nordic Countries. The Internet was used clearly more in the Nordic Countries than in the EU Member States on average: In EU-15 countries 41 per cent of the population used the Internet regularly and in EU-25 countries this figure was 38 per cent. The number of regular Internet users was highest in Iceland, followed by Sweden. In Finland the number of Internet users was the lowest of all Nordic Countries, 63 per cent. In particular, elderly people used the Internet clearly less in Finland than in the other Nordic Countries.

The Internet was in use in nearly all enterprises with more than ten employees in the Nordic Countries. The prevalence of homepages varied from Sweden's 84 per cent to 66 per cent in Norway. In Finland 76 per cent of enterprises had homepages. Internet sales by enterprises were not yet very extensive. In Denmark 35 per cent of enterprises sold products and services on their webpages, while in Finland this figure was 18 per cent.

Finns take care of data protection for their home PCs less than other Nordic people do. In Finland just under 70 per cent of all home Internet users had acquired an antivirus program, whereas in the other Nordic Countries this share was around 90 per cent. In contrast, Finnish enterprises have taken well care of data protection: 99 per cent of the Internet using enterprises have antivirus software in use.

ICT a significant employer in Finland and Sweden

In Finland ICT production and services have a significant role: nearly one tenth of those employed in the private sector, i.e. 109,000 persons, worked in these industries in 2003. In Sweden ICT industries account for an almost equal share of employed persons, but in the other Nordic Countries clearly less.

The proportion of ICT products of all exports of goods was largest in Finland, nearly one fifth of the value of all exports of goods in 2004. In the other large manufacturer of products, Sweden, the proportion was 12 per cent. In Finland and Sweden the trade balance showed a surplus for these products, while in the other Nordic Countries it was in deficit.

Source: Nordic Information Society Statistics 2005. Nordic Council of Ministers, Statistics Denmark, Statistics Finland, Statistics Iceland, Statistics Norway, Statistics Sweden.

Inquiries: Ms Lea Parjo +358 9 1734 3521

Director in charge: Ms Kaija Hovi

Links: The publication is available at: http://tilastokeskus.fi/tk/yr/tietoyhteiskunta/index_en.html
A joint publication 'Indicators for the Information Society in the Baltic Region 2005' by the Nordic Council of Ministers and 11 national statistical institutes of the Baltic Sea countries is released at the same time. The publication and the table section related to it are available at:
www.dst.dk/it