Covid-19: Internet users in Portugal "significantly increased" this year

percentage of people using the Internet increased by 3,9 percentage points compared to the same period last year

Internet users in Portugal “increased significantly” this year, with the percentage of connected households increasing by 3,6 percentage points, compared to 2019, to 84,5%, released today the INE.

According to the survey on the use of information and communication technologies by families, released this Friday by the National Statistics Institute (INE), “in 2020, 84,5% of households in Portugal have an Internet connection at home and 81,7% use broadband connections, which represents a significant increase of 3,6 percentage points over the previous year”.

In the context of the pandemic, the percentage of people who use the Internet increased by 3,9 percentage points compared to the same period last year, “which contradicts the stability of the results in the two previous years”, says INE.

The population aged 16 and 74 who used the Internet in the three months prior to the interview “did it mainly to communicate and access information, but it was mainly activities related to learning that registered the greatest increase in 2020”, he adds.

In other words, “the proportions of users who communicated with teachers or colleagues through educational portals more than doubled (from 14,5% in 2019 to 30,8% in 2020) and who attended 'online' courses (from 7,7% to 18,0%)”.

With regard to employed Internet users, almost a third (31,1%) exercised their profession in teleworking, “especially in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, where the proportion was 43,25%”.

For more than a quarter (29,6%) of employed internet users, “work at home was associated with the covid-19 pandemic”.

By income class, “households in the highest quintile (20% of households with higher incomes) have the highest levels of internet access (96,8%) and broadband (94,5%)”.

At the extreme, the first quintile (20% with lower incomes), “the proportions reduce to 66,9% with Internet access at home and 62,4% through broadband”, reads the statement.

With regard to e-commerce, the percentage of users registered “in 2020 the biggest increase in the series started in 2002, seven percentage points more than in 2019”.

Almost half (44,5%) of users aged between 16 and 74 had placed 'online' orders in the 12 months prior to the interview and more than a third (35,2%) in the previous three months.

“The amount of orders through e-commerce has increased significantly: the group of users who placed three to five orders increased by 4,0 percentage points, those who placed six to 10 orders increased 9,5 percentage points and those who placed more than 10 orders increased by 6,9 percentage points”, says INE.