79% of Maltese households have broadband connection

A Eurostat report, published last week shows that local broadband penetration currently stands at 79% of all households, ranking 3% higher than the EU average.

Malta is performing better than the EU average in terms of usage amongst those with medium and higher levels of education and by the younger generations as shown in Figure 1 below.  On the downside however, internet use amongst the least educated and the older generation remains considerably lower than that reported across the EU.

As a result of this gap, 66% of Maltese reported to have connected once a week or more, against 72% of Europeans.

In terms of use by gender, whilst females are the most avid users in the lower age brackets, this trend is reversed amongst the older generations, with more males making frequent use of the Internet. This trend, which is observed across Europe, is possibly the result of lower levels of employment and education amongst older females.

Maltese internet users are more avid users of social networking sites (Malta: 52% - EU average: 45%), and web based telephone or video calls (Malta: 30% - EU average: 25%), than other EU users, whilst they do not use the Internet to search for information about products as much as other EU internet users (Malta: 50% - EU average: 59%).

Statistics regarding other internet uses indicate that use in Malta generally reflects the EU average:  reading online newspapers (Malta: 48% - EU Average: 48%), using the web for travel and accommodation services (Malta: 37% - EU average: 38%) and online banking (Malta: 43% - EU average 42%).

Maltese individuals between the ages of 16 and 34 years are considerably more active in eCommerce than their European counterparts as shown in Figure 2 below. On average, Malta has consistently recorded a 4% growth, year-on-year for the past 8 years. The report indicates that 46% of Maltese individuals have purchased online over a 12 month period, closing the gap to the EU average, which today stands at 47%.  The data related to the younger age brackets clearly indicates that Malta is rapidly catching up with the rest of the EU on this front.

The Malta Communications Authority (MCA) has described these results as a clear and positive indication that Malta is on the right path to building a strong digital economy and society. However, it noted that there still remains 28% of the Maltese population that has never used the Internet. "The statistics also highlight a European wide phenomenon where the growth rate in terms of ICT take up experienced in the previous decade, has slowed down and is stalling. This is posing a great challenge for Malta and across the rest of Europe, as reaching out to the remaining portion of society that does not use ICT is becoming ever more difficult," the MCA said.

"The MCA is joining the European drive to get more people interested in and using ICTs in their everyday activities and in changing perceptions on ICT, in particular amongst those individuals aged 45 years and older to ensure that every individual has the opportunity and skills to contribute to the digital economy and society. Programmes such as the CTLC network and the ESF funded Networked project, which are run by the MCA, are specifically aimed at encouraging more individuals to start using ICT."

Joseph MELI
A Eurostat report published last week -published where?Did the survey consult ALL Maltese households and did ALL 16 -34 year-olds in Malta respond to this survey?Why is the number of respondents to these surveys never shown and only misleading and non pro-rata percentage-figures (a % of what number-is it ALL MALTESE as indicated?)