ICT usage in households

63% of Belgians aged between 16 and 74 have made online purchases



63% of Belgians aged between 16 and 74 have made online purchases. This is a slight decrease of 3 percentage points compared to 2021, but still 8 percentage points higher than in pre-COVID year 2019.








Purchases of physical goods decline by 4 percentage points compared to 2021, while purchases of online services do continue to rise slightly.

E-commerce 2020 2021 2022
TOTAL physical goods 63% 65% 61%
Clothes (including sport clothing), shoes or accessories (e.g. bags, jewellery) 40% 45% 42%
Deliveries from restaurants, fast food chains, caterers, ... 17% 24% 19%
Computers, tablets, smartphones, mobile phones or accessories 13% 14% 12%
TOTAL online services 48% 49% 50%
Films or series as a streaming service or downloads (e.g. Netflix) 18% 22% 21%
Tickets for cultural or other activities 18% 10% 22%
Transport services 12% 11% 16%
Accommodation 18% 16% 23%

Value of online purchases continues to rise

14% of people who ordered goods or services for private use via the internet during the last three months bought for more than 1,000 euros in the past three months. In 2019 this was 8%.

What do Belgians do with their old smartphone or mobile phone?

67% of Belgians aged between 16 and 74 who have used the internet in the last three months indicated that they still keep their old, no longer used smartphone or mobile phone at home. 11% have given the device away while 13% made sure it ended up in the electronic waste collection or recycling.

Price and processor speed decisive when buying ICT device

When buying a new ICT device, price, processor speed, look and feel and new or improved features are decisive factors. The environmental friendliness of the device, such as sustainability, upgradeability, packaging, plays only a limited role in the purchase.

Key factors in most recent ICT device purchase - % of inhabitants of Belgium aged 16-74 who have used the internet in the last three months
The price 73%
Hard disk properties (memory, speed) or processor speed 56%
The environmental friendliness of the device (e.g. sustainability, upgradeability) or the packing material 9%
The possibility of extending the guaranteed lifetime of the device by buying an additional warranty 5%
Take-back scheme offered by manufacturer or seller 4%
The long (standard) warranty period 9%
The look of the device 22%
It is a new model 13%
The device has new or improved features 37%
I have never bought such devices 3%

Purpose and brief description

This data collection from households and individuals aims to compile internationally comparable statistics from national indicators on the digital divide.

Moreover, the survey is subsidised by Eurostat, the European statistical office.

Field of research

The survey on ICT usage by households and individuals is coupled to the Labour Force Survey as a special ‘ICT and Internet’ module. A randomly selected person in the household answers all the questions, over both the situation of the household and his/her individual situation.

Data collection method and sample size

Data collection method

There are two data collection methods for the ICT survey among households and individuals since 2009: a web application and a paper form. When the LFS survey is completed, the interviewer selects among the household members on the basis of the birth dates who will have to answer the questions on ICT usage. The interviewer hands a paper form and a paid envelope over as well as a document with instructions and access codes for the web application. A reminder is sent to the households who didn’t answer within two or three weeks after the interviewer’s visit. Before 2009, the interviewer interviewed households orally following the LFS survey.


The sample of the ICT survey among households and individuals is coupled to the LFS survey. All households having taken part to the LFS survey are invited to answer the questions on ICT usage.


The response rate of the ICT survey is 67 % of the households who took part to the LFS survey. The response rate compared to the initial gross sample is 45 %.


The ICT survey is organised on a yearly basis.

Timing of publication

The data have to be sent to Eurostat by the beginning of October. The results are available for the general public by the end of the year.


Low-skilled people are people who have at best a lower secondary education diploma. Medium-skilled people have obtained an upper secondary education diploma, but no higher education diploma. High-skilled people have a higher education diploma.