Two-speed spread of computer culture in Romania

Only two thirds of Romanian families have a computer at home. Yet the country boasts one of the top internet speeds in Europe.

Delia Budurca
Delia Budurca NewsMavens, Romania
Two-speed spread of computer culture in Romania - NewsMavens
Computer. Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

According to recent data released by the National Institute of Statistics (INS), 65.6% of Romanians have a computer at home and 68,6% are connected to the internet.

However, there is a gap between the prevalence of computer equipment in urban and rural areas. In cities, 75.9% of households have a computer, while in rural areas, where half of the Romanian population lives, this percentage is only 51.9%.

The territorial analysis shows that in Bucharest and its proximity, that is the Ilfov sector, this figure is the highest -- 82.6%. The region is closely followed by the West of Romania, with 73.2%, and the Northwest, with 72%. The lowest percentages are registered in the North-East (Moldova), 58.8%, and the South (Muntenia), 58.6%.

Slightly more men appear to use computers – 73.8%, compared to women – 71.3%.

From an age perspective, 91.5% of the population aged 16-34 uses computers, in comparison to only 44,8% of the people aged 55-74.  

As of 2017, more than two thirds of Romanian families -- 68.6% to be precise -- can access the internet from home, an increase of 3.6 percentage points from 2016.

4 out of 5 households in Bucharest and its proximity are connected to the internet, followed by the West and the North-West regions, while the smallest percentages are in South Muntenia, 63.3%, and the North-East region, 61.3%.

Of the total number of people aged 16 to 74, the proportion of those who have used the internet was 73.5%, of which 86.8% in the last 3 months. When it comes to the frequent users, 73.3% of them is online on a daily basis or almost every day.

The proportion of men who use or have ever used the internet is slightly higher than that of women -- 74.8% vs. 72.1%.

The percentage of people using the internet have a downward trend in age group analysis, meaning that most people aged 16-34 (93.5%) use the internet and the percentage decreases with age. For the 55 to 74 age group, the percentage reached only 44%.

While computer use might be spreading unevenly in society, the users who do get caught in a internet habit will have access to one of the top speeds in Europe since Romania's network is new and therefore more modern than much of the infrastructure in other EU countries.

Details from the story:

  • Among people aged 16-74, 72.5% have used a computer at least once. In cities, the number of people using computers is 1.7 times higher than in the rural areas. This follows the demographical profile of Romania, taking into consideration that the rural population has a significantly higher average age than the urban one.
  • By region of development, the share of people using the internet was 87.3% in the Bucharest area, the highest percentage in the country, followed closely by the West region with 82.3%. At a considerable distance were the Northwest (76%), the Center (73.2%), the Southwest (70.4%) and the other regions under 70%.
  • The types of connection used to access the internet from home are 87.5% fixed broadband connections, followed largely by broadband mobile connections (48.1%) and narrowband connections (9.4 %).

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NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
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