Belgians’ digital skills have sharply increased in recent years
The percentage of Belgians (aged 16 to 74) who have at least basic digital skills has increased from 54% in 2021 to 59% in 2023.
Meanwhile, the target set in “Europe's Digital Decade” that, by 2030, 80% of all adults should have at least basic digital skills, remains a long way off. (Europe’s Digital Decade | Shaping Europe’s digital future)
Digital skills are made up of five components. Belgians register the best results for online communication (83%) and the lowest when it comes to protecting their privacy (40%).
Large differences per age, level of education and socio-economic situation
Students and employed people have the most digital skills: 72% and 67% of them respectively have at least basic digital skills. The unemployed (47%), the inactive (41%) and the retired (40%) have more difficulties. The age and level of education also play a role: we see a clear decrease in digital skills after 45 and among low-skilled people.
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.