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Press release 31.5.2007

Six in ten Internet users read online newspapers

According to Statistics Finland's report "Everyday Use of ICT in Finland 2006", more than three million persons aged between 15 and 74 used the Internet in spring 2006. Twenty-three per cent of Finns did not use the Internet at all. The proportion of Internet users is still clearly smaller in the oldest age groups than in the younger age groups. Of the different Internet uses, the reading of online newspapers, Internet phone calls, instant messaging, online banking and online shopping have increased the most. Six in ten Internet users reported reading online newspapers.

In spring 2006, 29 per cent of all persons aged 15 to 74 had made online purchases from online stores or placed online orders during the preceding three months. The corresponding percentage for 15 to 74-year old Internet users was 37. In some age groups as many as 40 per cent of Finns shop online. In 2006 the proportion of Finns shopping online was slightly above the EU average.

Every fourth Internet user had at some point attended to personal matters with public authorities via the web. Forms had been filled out and sent to public authorities on the Internet by every fifth Internet user. Because of concerns about data protection, every third Finn with the opportunity to attend to matters with public authorities via the web did not do so. Finns' interest in and concern about data protection have increased somewhat during 1996-2005.

These data are based on an ICT usage survey conducted as telephone interviews in which the importance of the key innovations of the information society, i.e. the mobile phone, the PC and the use of the Internet, to the every day life of people in Finland was examined. The report also aims at assessing which new modes of communication have emerged in place of old ones.

No big changes in the method of paying bills

There are many modes of electronic invoicing ranging from text messages to direct debit. Methods of paying bills have not changed much, even though the proportion of persons using direct debiting and online banking have grown significantly over the past two years. Online banking is used by four in five Internet users. Roughly one in ten persons had received invoices by e-mail. The majority of Finns, however, prefer to receive their bills as conventional letters.

Methods of paying bills in 2006 by age group, %

All 18-29-year-olds 30-49-year-olds 50-74-year-olds
Has used the Internet for online banking1 81 71 87 84
Pays bills by direct debit 52 32 49 64
Pays bills by direct invoicing 9 9 9 9
Pays bills with the mobile phone 8 12 7 6
Has received invoices as letters 93 93 95 91
Has received invoices by e-mail 12 16 15 7
Wants to receive invoices as letters 89 89 86 92

1 Proportion of Internet users

Study-related activities often done via the web

Two in three students had looked up courses and teachers via the web after the beginning of the autumn term. The second most common use was to communicate with one's teacher via e-mail. More than one-half of all students had looked up their exam results on the Internet and received assignments online, e.g. by e-mail. Every other student had registered for a course or other teaching via the web. Attending to matters online is not always voluntary; in many educational institutions students can sign up for exams only online and study guides are often available in electronic format only.

Source: Survey on ICT usage in households and by individuals 2006. Statistics Finland.

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