ICT usage in households

Education and income determine digital skills of Belgians

Education and income determine digital skills of Belgians

According to the new European definitions, which apply since 2021, 54% of Belgians (aged 16 to 74) have at least a basic knowledge of digital skills.

On average, men score slightly higher than women (57% versus 52%).

The digital divide is significant between people with a low level of education (26%) and those with a high level of education (77%).

This gap is about the same width between people from a household in the lowest income quintile[1] (32%) and those in the highest quintile (79%).

A breakdown by socio-economic situation shows that students have the most digital skills (75% with at least basic knowledge), while this is 64% for employed people.

The unemployed (42%) and pensioners (31%) are clearly less digitally literate.

A comparison between the regions shows that Brussels scores best (62% with at least basic knowledge) compared to 54% in Flanders and 51% in Wallonia.

All details can be found in the downloadable tables.

[1] 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.

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.