In the 1st quarter of 2008 the Internet was available to 53% of households

27.11.2008

The results of survey* on the use of information and communication technologies in households show that in the 1st quarter of 2008 Internet was available to every second household (53%), according to Central Statistical Bureau. However, 66% of all Latvian residents have used computer at least once a lifetime which is 5 percentage points more than in first three months of 2007. Internet connection in statistical regions was most common in households in Riga – 60% and Pieriga – 58%, but the least common in Vidzeme – 44% and in Latgale – 40%. Following the latest development trends of information technologies, in 2008 questions on specialized services were asked, e.g., on creation of blogs, video calls on the Internet, etc. It was studied on how large extent reading of traditional newspapers and magazines was replaced with acquisition of information on the Internet. Population were also asked on the intermediation of mobile phone in the additional activities.

The use of computer and Internet in households in the 1st quarter of 2008 (in per cent of the total of households in particular group)

In order to get to the Internet, in households personal computers were used the most (42%). Significantly has increased the number of households where portable computer was used in order to get to the Internet which is 10 percentage points more than in first three months of 2007. 20% of all households used mobile phone, in order to get to the Internet. 75% of households with Internet connection used broadband connection which is an increase of 12 percentage points, compared to first three months of 2007.

Active computer users and Internet users in the 1st quarter of 2008 (in per cent of total of population)

The results of the survey show that the usage of computer and Internet is proportionally reversed by the age of persons. In the age group of 16-24 years 94% have used the computer, in the age group of 25-34 years- 80%, but in the group of age 65-74 years- only 6% of all residents.

Half (50%) of all residents used Internet at home which is 7 percentage points more than in the 1st quarter of 2007. 22% of all Latvian residents used Internet at the work place, 10% of residents used Internet in educational institutions, however, in the age group of 16 to 24 years, i.e., in the group which includes pupils and students, this indicator was significantly higher- 50% and, compared to the 1st quarter of the previous year, it has not increased.

In January - March 2008 almost all Internet users (96%) used it for information search and for online services. 88% of all users used the possibility to communicate (to send e-mails, chat, etc.) on the Internet. 64% of web users used the Internet Banking, which saw increase of 13 percentage points than in the same period of the previous year. 44% tried to look up for an information on the training and education purposes.

Use of advanced services in 2008 (in per cent of total of internet users)

Uploading self-created content (text, images, photos, videos, music, etc.) to any websiteto be shared

31.9

Using peer-to-peer file sharing for exchanging movies, music,video files

25.1

Reading weblogs or blogs

15.6

Using podcast services to automatically receive audio or video files of interest

6.9

Creation or maintaining weblogs

5.9

22% of all residents or every third (33%) of the Internet users at least once have purchased or ordered goods or services for own needs.

Purchasing of goods and services on the Internet (per cent of the number of Internet users in particular age group)

Purchasing on the Internet

2007

2008

Total

25

33

Age (years)

16–24

26

31

25–34

32

43

35–44

27

35

45–54

18

29

55–74

10

21

Goods and services bought for personal needs on the Internet (per cent of residents who have bought goods or services on the Internet)

2007

2008

Clothing, sports goods

20

33

Tickets

30

30

Household goods

19

30

Computer hardware

14

19

Travel and holiday accommodations

14

17

Books, magazines, newspapers, e-learning materials

9

9

Films, music

12

8

Computer software

8

8

Mobile phone was used by 9 of 10 Latvian residents (90%). It is also used in order to get to the Internet environment which, in addition to usual services, provides users with a row of special opportunities. From additional mobile phone activities its users mostly use Internet browsing (17%) and uploading of photographs and video clips from the mobile phone on the home page (16%). Data of the survey show that men use special services more than women. In the table below it is observed that 73% of mobile phone users did not use additional activities as they used only main services. Only pre-paid cards were used by 53% of mobile phone users, only permanent connection was used by 46%, both connections were used by 1% of users.

Advanced activities made by residents via mobile phone in 2008 (per cent of mobile phone users in particular group)

Total

Men

Women

Browsing the Internet

16.9

20.6

13.5

Sending photographs or video clips

16.2

18.7

13.9

Reading e-mails

13.9

16.4

11.7

Uploading photographs or video clips from phone to website

8.7

10.4

7.2

Receiving subscription-paid information services (for example, news, weather forecast, sports results, etc.)

2.6

3.4

1.9

Downloading and/or watching TV or video

2.0

2.8

1.2

Personal navigation (for finding location or address), using of location-aware services (e.g., to receive nearby travel, shopping, event information)

2.0

2.7

1.4

Paying for goods or services (instead of cash credit card)

1.8

2.1

1.6

None of the previously mentioned activities

72.6

68.6

76.2

* Such survey according to harmonised methodology is carried out in all Member states of the European Union (EU), therefore the obtained results are comparable across the EU countries. Households with at least one person participated in the survey. All persons aged 16-74 years living in the household were surveyed, therefore the obtained results are related exactly to this household and population group.

More information on the results of the survey „The usage of the Information and Communication Technologies in households and by individuals” is available in the data base of CSB home page. In December the data collection „Information society in Latvia” will be published.

Prepared by Trade and Services Statistics Section
Tel. +371 67366725
Ineta Kromane