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Eurostat Publication: What it means to be young in EU today


Being young in Europe today presents some of Eurostat’s most interesting data on children and young people in the European Union. It gives an insight into the past, current and future situation of youngest citizens, ranging from attending school and participating in sport and leisure activities, to leaving the parental home and entering the professional life. Data are presented for the European Union and its Member States as well as for the EFTA countries.

Being young in Europe today is divided into 7 chapters covering population, family and society, health, education, access and participation to the labour market, living conditions and the digital world. Each chapter contains data and background information relating to a very wide range of European statistics. More information can be found on Eurostat’s website, which contains subject-specific publications and online databases.

Some of the key findings of a chapter "Children and young people in the digital world":

  • Looking at access to ICTs at home, four fifths (81%) of all households in the EU-28 had internet access in 2014.

  • Four out of every five (80%) young people used a computer on a daily basis in 2014, nearly 20 percentage points higher than among the whole population (63%).

  • Interestingly, in 2012 the rate of daily internet use overtook daily computer use among young people, reflecting the use of the internet on a range of alternative devices, such as smart phones. The gap between young people and the whole population for daily internet use was 22 percentage points in 2014, slightly higher than for daily computer use.

  • The highest rates of daily computer use among young people were recorded in Estonia (93%), Latvia (91%), Lithuania (90%), the Czech Republic and Slovenia (both 89%). In contrast, the lowest proportion of young people making daily use of a computer was recorded in Romania (62%), followed by Spain (68%).

  • 9 out of every 10 young people aged 16–19 and those with a higher level of formal education in the EU-28 made daily use of the internet in 2014

  • In 2014, over half (51%) of the population used a mobile device such as a portable computer (includes laptops and tablets) or a handheld device to connect to the internet when away from home or work and this proportion reached four fifths (80%) of all young people aged 16–29.

  • In 2014, 9 out of 10 young people aged 16–29 in Denmark, Finland, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Estonia, Spain and the Netherlands used a mobile device to connect to the internet on the go while in Italy, Bulgaria and Romania the proportion was less than three fifths (note that each of these three countries was characterised by a generally low level of internet use).

  • In 2013 (most recent information available on internet skills), young people in the EU-28 used a search engine (94%) or sent an e-mail with attachments (87%), while more than two thirds of young people posted messages online (72%), just over half used the internet for calling people (53%) and around one third (32%) used peer-to-peer file sharing services. 

  • The most common online social activities for young people in the EU-28 in 2014 included sending and receiving e-mails (86%) and participating on social networking sites — for example, Facebook or Twitter, by creating a user profile, posting messages or making other contributions — (82%), while close to half (47%) of all young people in the EU-28 uploaded self-created content, such as photos, videos or text to the internet.

More detailed information you can find here: Publication "Being young in Europe today".