One in two 16-74 year-olds in the EU now has a medium or high level of computer skills.
ICT skills will become more and more critical in terms of getting and keeping a job and in managing everyday life (Bruges communiqué).
The indicator considered here is the percentage of 16-74 year-olds with estimated medium or high level of computer skills. Data are based on Eurostat’s measurement of individual levels of computer skills. Eurostat follows a self-assessment approach with skill level based on intensity of use.
More than half of the EU population has a medium or high level of computer skills. In 2011, 52% of 16-74 year-olds were estimated to have medium or high level of computer skills (27% with high level and 25% with medium level).
Luxembourg and the Nordic countries were best performers in 2011. Luxembourg, Denmark and Finland reported the highest percentages, with 70% or more of 16-74 year-olds being medium- or high-skilled in computing. Romania and Bulgaria showed the lowest values (both under 30%).
Remarkable progress in EU ICT skills. Between 2006 and 2011, the EU population share with high or medium skills in computing grew by eight percentage points. That was mainly due to a six-percentage-point increase in the share of high-skilled, along with a two-percentage-point increase of medium-skilled.
ICT skills have soared in many countries. Between 2006 and 2011, the largest increases occurred in Ireland and Latvia (respectively 22 and 19 percentage points). The share of medium- or high-skilled in computing went up by at least six percentage points in all countries except Denmark and the Netherlands, as well as Germany, where ICT skills declined or remained relatively stable.
Still a long way to go. The low-skilled or not-skilled-at-all in computing still accounted for 14% and 34% of 16-74 year-olds in the EU in 2011, with such unfavourable levels affecting older and low-educated individuals the most.
Levels of basic computer skills are measured using a self-assessment approach, where the respondent indicates whether he/she has carried out specific tasks related to computer use, without these skills being assessed, tested or actually observed. Six computer-related items were used to group the respondents into three levels of computer skills in 2006, 2007 and 2009: low level of basic computer skills: Individuals who have carried out one or two of the six computer-related items; medium level: three or four of the six computer-related items; high level: five or six of the six computer-related items.