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Internet in Germany: 3,8 million Germans have never used the internet

The Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) said that about 6% of Germans have never used the internet.

Life without the internet is completely unimaginable for many of us, but for a surprising number of people in Germany it’s a daily reality. New figures from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) have revealed that 3,8 million people have never surfed the web. 

6 percent of Germans do not use internet

According to Destatis, around 6 percent of Germans between the ages of 16 and 74 have never used the internet. That is around 3,8 million people offline.

Less surprisingly, the data shows that there are more so-called “offliners” among the older sections of the population. Indeed, among 65 to 74-year-olds, around 21 percent do not use the internet. The proportion is 8 percent of 55 to 64-year-olds, and under the age of 55, only 3 percent of the German public choose to forgo the world wide web. 

And it’s not just fun and communication that these internet-rejectors are missing out on. As Destatis pointed out, life has become ever more complicated in recent years for people who aren’t online, especially since the coronavirus pandemic. From digital vaccine certificates to online appointment booking at the doctors, a lot of daily life has been made simpler by the internet. 

Germany is average within EU for internet users

Across the European Union, the average figures for offline users was 8% last year, but there is a large amount of variation between countries.

According to Eurostat, in Ireland, the Scandinavian countries, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, the proportion of 16- to 74-year-olds who have never used the internet is below 5%. The highest proportions were in Greece with 20%, followed by Bulgaria and Portugal.

According to estimates by the UN’s International Telecommunication Union, 37% of the world’s population have never used the internet – some 2.9 billion people worldwide.


By Itamar Medeiros

Originally from Brazil, Itamar Medeiros currently lives in Germany, where he works as VP of Design Strategy at SAP and lecturer of Project Management for UX at the M.Sc. Usability Engineering at the Rhein-Waal University of Applied Sciences .

Working in the Information Technology industry since 1998, Itamar has helped truly global companies in multiple continents create great user experience through advocating Design and Innovation principles. During his 7 years in China, he promoted the User Experience Design discipline as User Experience Manager at Autodesk and Local Coordinator of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) in Shanghai.

Itamar holds a MA in Design Practice from Northumbria University (Newcastle, UK), for which he received a Distinction Award for his thesis Creating Innovative Design Software Solutions within Collaborative/Distributed Design Environments.

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