3,4 million Germans have never used the internet

3,4 million Germans have never used the internet

For the majority of us, a world of pings, notifications and dreaming of online Anmeldung is standard. But new statistics from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) have revealed that a total of 3,4 million people in Germany never use the internet for…anything.

6 percent of people in Germany have never gone online

“Why on earth is that old man sticking a poster for his book club to a tree like it’s 1975?”, you may have asked yourself in a moment of millennial snobbery. Well, a fool doth think he is wise!

According to an annual analysis by Destatis, around 6 percent of Germans between the ages of 16 and 74 have never used the internet, totalling around 3,4 million people in the federal republic.

Less surprisingly, the best-represented age range among so-called “offliners” is 65 to 74 year-olds, who make up 17 percent of the 3,4 million. Among the 45-and-under group, the figure dropped to just 2 percent.

Many official issues such as Anmeldung, applications for citizenship or social security benefits are yet to be digitalised in Germany, much to the dismay of younger and middle-aged people. But with coronavirus accelerating the availability of online forms, certifications and tickets, an offline existence may become increasingly difficult for the older generations. 

Germany ranks average for internet use in the EU

So how do the Germans compare to their European neighbours? About average. In most EU countries 7 percent of the population said they never go online. In southern European nations such as Greece and Portugal however, the figure was as high as 14 percent. 

Travelling further north the average is lower, with only 4 percent of people in Scandinavian countries reporting having never used the internet, and in Silicon Valley’s European colony of Ireland, less than 4 percent.

According to UN's International Telecommunication Union (ITU), one-third of the world’s population still do not have access to the internet in 2022, and about 2,7 billion people have never been online.

Thumb image credit: StrDr stock /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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