3,8 million Germans have never used the internet

3,8 million Germans have never used the internet

Life without the internet is completely unimaginable for many of us, but for a surprising number of people in Germany it’s a daily reality. New figures from the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) have revealed that 3,8 million people have never surfed the web. 

6 percent of Germans do not use internet

More people than you might think continue to live their lives completely offline. According to Destatis, around 6 percent of Germans between the ages of 16 and 74 have never used the internet. That is around 3,8 million people. 

Less surprisingly, the data shows that there are more so-called “offliners” among the older sections of the population. Indeed, among 65 to 74-year-olds, around 21 percent do not use the internet. The proportion is 8 percent of 55 to 64-year-olds, and under the age of 55, only 3 percent of the German public choose to forgo the world wide web. 

And it’s not just fun and communication that these internet-rejectors are missing out on. As Destatis pointed out, life has become ever more complicated in recent years for people who aren’t online, especially since the coronavirus pandemic. From digital vaccine certificates to online appointment booking at the doctors, a lot of daily life has been made simpler by the internet. 

Germany is average within EU for internet users

Germany has something of a reputation for being technologically challenged, but the figures actually put the federal republic in line with the rest of the EU: last year an average of 8 percent of the population of the European Union reported to not use the internet, according to Eurostat. 

However, there are major differences between different member states. In Ireland, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, less than 5 percent of 16 to 74-year-olds identified themselves as offliners, compared to 20 percent in Greece, 17 percent in Bulgaria and 16 percent in Portugal. 



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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