ICT usage in households

Covid crisis accelerates digitalisation

Covid crisis accelerates digitalisation

During the first half of 2020, Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, conducted its annual survey on ICT usage in households[1]. These results make it possible to evaluate the digital transformation caused by the lockdown following the Covid-19 epidemic in Belgium.

Activities that registered a strong increase in 2020 are, not surprisingly, making calls (including video calls) over the internet, which concerned 68 % of the population compared to 58 % a year earlier. The percentage of Belgians having taken a class online has doubled to 18 % in 2020.

[1]Including at least one person aged 16 to 74

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.