Edition 2021

Foto omschrijving: Man using an app on his mobile phone to switch on lights in his house

How many people use the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things is more topical than ever. Nearly three-quarters of the Dutch population now own one or more smart devices or cars that are connected to the internet and send and exchange data online without human intervention.

How many Dutch people use the Internet of Things?59%14%11%Smart thermostat27%20%6%Smoke detectors, security cameras or other security systemsLighting, smart plugs or other systems for smart livingHousehold appliances
The Internet of Things at home, 2020 (% of people
aged 12 and over)
Toepassing Usage
Total 72
Smart water, gas or
electricity meter
Smart thermostat 27
Virtual assistant via app
or smart speaker
Smart lighting, smart plugs or
other smart-living systems
Smoke detectors, security cameras
or other safety systems
Smart home appliances 6

Cars, refrigerators, ovens, speakers, lighting and much more can be connected to the internet. These devices send and receive data online. Taken altogether, these are referred to as the Internet of Things or the Internet of Everything. Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of the Dutch population aged 12 years or older indicated in 2020 that they had such a ‘smart’ device or system at home. Fifty-nine percent had a at home that can be read remotely. Over a quarter used a smart thermostat and two in ten a virtual assistant (like Siri, Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Bixby) that can be controlled via an app or a smart speaker.

Lighting, smart plugs or other systems for smart living as well as smoke detectors, security cameras or other security systems are less commonly used: 14 and 11 percent, respectively, said they used such systems at home. Six percent had household appliances, such as a robot vacuum cleaner, refrigerator or coffeemaker, that are connected to the internet at home.

Some have no need for smart devices

Some people see the Internet of Things as a technological leap forward, while others exhibit reluctance. Of those who indicated not to use smart devices or systems at home, 77 percent cited a lack of need as the reason. High costs or concerns about privacy or security were each cited by a quarter as (one of the) reasons. Less-frequently cited reasons were unfamiliarity with such devices and systems, unfamiliarity with their use, concerns about personal safety and health and that other devices at home could not be connected to the internet.

Reason for not having smart devices at home1), 2020 (% of people aged 12 and over
without smart device at home)
Reden Reason for not having smart device
No need 77
Too expensive 29
Privacy or safety concerns 25
Unfamiliarity with smart devices 10
Unfamiliarity with their use 6
Concerned about health risks 5
Unable to connect other devices 3
1)More than one answer possible

Smartwatch and activity tracker in demand

In addition to smart devices and systems for the home, nearly 20 percent used smart accessories, such as a smartwatch or activity tracker. Ten percent had a car with a built-in internet connection. In 2020, six percent used smart devices for health, such as scales or a blood pressure monitor. Three percent had internet-connected toys, such as robots or dolls.

The questions


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Explanation of symbols

Empty cell figure not applicable
. figure is unknown, insufficiently reliable or confidential
* provisional figure
** revised provisional figure
(between two numbers) inclusive
0 (0.0) less than half of unit concerned
2016–2017 2016 to 2017 inclusive
2016/2017 average for the years 2016 up to and including 2017
2016/’17 crop year, financial year, school year etc., beginning in 2016 and ending in 2017
2004/’05–2016/’17 crop year etc. 2004/’05 up to and including 2016/’17

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Irene van Kuik


Janneke Hendriks

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Taalcentrum VU

Final editor

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