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Digital Saturation Spreads Slowly Throughout Europe

Web access tips toward the majority in Central and Eastern Europe for the first time

Western Europe is one of the most advanced internet markets in the world, with 69.9% of residents going online at least monthly in 2013, and penetration rates in the most internet-enabled countries reaching as high as Norway’86.0%. But just next door, the situation is different.

Nearly 234 million people in Central and Eastern Europe, or 54.4% of the region’s population, will go online regularly in 2013. Around one-third of internet users in the region will reside in Russia. The country’s penetration rates will be similar to the regional average. This year, 54.4% of people in Russia will be internet users. Growth will be slow but steady through 2017, when internet users will account for more than two-thirds of the country’s population.

eMarketer has adjusted projected internet user penetration rates for the majority of countries in Western Europe based on new information regarding internet usage among younger and older individuals. We made the biggest changes to our estimated internet user penetration rates for Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands. These countries have lower penetration than previously thought—though even with newly decreased estimates, they continue to lead all other nations worldwide in usage. More than eight out of 10 people in these countries will go online at least once per month this year.

Penetration rates will be lower in Italy and Spain, where older individuals and residents outside of major cities are not as likely to access the internet.

eMarketer bases all of our forecasts on a multipronged approach that focuses on both worldwide and local trends in the economy, technology and population along with company-, product-, country- and demographic-specific trends as well as trends in specific consumer behaviors. We analyze quantitative and qualitative data from a variety of research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighting each piece of information based on methodology and soundness.

Additionally, every element of each eMarketer forecast fits within the larger matrix of all our forecasts, with the same assumptions and general framework used to project figures in a wide variety of areas. Regular re-evaluation of each forecast means those assumptions and framework are constantly updated to reflect new market developments and other trends.

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