The Covid-19 crisis has led to a sharp increase in the digital exchange of data with the government; 51% of the population has completed and sent forms online in the past year, 11% more than in 2019 before the crisis.
However, 49% of the adult population still does not have digital contact with government services.
The problem is not so much on the supply side: only 4% indicate that there was no possibility to obtain or deliver the information online.
Lack of personal contact (18%), lack of skills (16%) and more reliance on paper forms (15%) are the most frequently cited reasons for not using e-government.
The most active users of e-government are young adults (25-34 years) and highly skilled people: 71% and 70% respectively had online contact with the government.
Older people aged 65-74 (30%) and low-skilled people (28%) use these online services much less.
Only 6% of those who do not have Internet at home seek an external solution, specifically for e-government.
Fill in and send forms via government websites (e.g. via Tax-on-web, web surveys, ...) , but not via email
|Percentage of inhabitants of Belgium aged between 16 and 74 years|
|Low level of education||28.0%|
|Average level of education||48.1%|
|High level of education||69.7%|
|Women aged 16-24||41.8%|
|Women aged 25-54||59.7%|
|Women aged 55-74||34.5%|
|Men aged 16-24||33.5%|
|Men aged 25-54||66.6%|
|Men aged 55-74||40.7%|
|Income household quintile 1||34.5%|
|Income household quintile 2||44.3%|
|Income household quintile 3||49.0%|
|Income household quintile 4||63.6%|
|Income household quintile 5||60.3%|
66% of Belgians (16-74 years) have made online purchases in the past year, an increase of 11% compared to 2019, before the Covid-19 crisis. The amounts spent and the frequency of purchases are also increasing significantly.
Clothing is the most popular product in e-commerce, over two-thirds of the shoppers surveyed indicated that they had purchased clothing, shoes and/or accessories online in the past quarter, for women this rises to 75%.
|Pattern of spending online shopper|
|Clothing, shoes or accessories||67.7%|
|Delivery of meals||36.1%|
|Downloading or streaming movies or series||33.3%|
|Downloading or streaming music||27.7%|
|Cosmetics, beauty or wellness products||24.6%|
|Furniture, home accessories or garden products||24.0%|
|Medication or dietary supplements||21.7%|
|Computers, tablets, smartphones, mobile phones or accessories||21.7%|
|Books, magazines or newspapers (paper)||21.0%|
Not only are more Belgians buying online, they are doing so more frequently. 14% of shoppers bought goods or services more than ten times in the past three months. In 2019, this was only 10%.
Larger sums are also being spent in the process: 28% of respondents say they have spent 500 euros or more online on a quarterly basis, compared to 19% in 2019.
It is striking that men spend more on average, 16% of them more than 1000 euros. For women this is 10%.
Households without internet
8% of households have no internet connection. This percentage is higher in Wallonia (10%) than in Brussels (7%) and Flanders (6%).
The population groups with the lowest percentage of internet connections are households with incomes in the lowest quintile (77%) and singles (84%).
The percentage of households with children of school age that have an internet connection is 99%; in 2016, 4% of these households had no internet at home.
More detailed figures can be found on the website of Statbel: https://statbel.fgov.be/en/themes/households/ict-usage-households
E-government: Fill in and send forms via government websites (e.g. via Tax-on-web, web surveys, ...)
Quintile: the first quintile group represents 20% of the population with the lowest income and the fifth quintile group represents the 20% of the population with the highest income
Online purchases: online purchases made in the three months prior to the survey
Households: households with at least one person in the age group of 16 to 74 years