Edition 2022

Foto omschrijving: An elderly woman at home behind her laptop with a cup of tea.

What do the over-65s do online?

Life without internet is barely imaginable nowadays. The over-65s are also increasingly online. They use the internet mainly for the purpose of communication and information, but also to do their banking. Particularly those aged 75 and over are increasingly involved in online banking.

Wat doen 65-plussers online?What do the over-65s do online?60%56%55%47%Informatie zoeken over goederenLook up product information74%InternetbankierenOnline banking71%70%60%60%76%

In 2021, more than 80 percent of 65 to 74‑year-olds used the internet mainly for communication purposes: sending and receiving emails (85 percent) and sending text messages, e.g. via WhatsApp (83 percent). The over-75s did so less: 63 percent sent emails and 51 percent sent text messages. Email continues to be the most frequently used online means of communication among the over-75s.

Especially the use of messaging services has increased in recent years. Among 65 to 74‑year-olds, the percentage sending text messages increased from 70 to 83 percent between 2019 and 2021, and among over-75s from 34 to 51 percent.

Online activities in the three months prior to the survey1), 2021 (%)
Persoonskenmerken 12 yrs and over 65-74 yrs 75 yrs and over
Send and
receive emails
89 85 63
e.g. via WhatsApp
88 83 51
Look up
product information
86 85 58
Online banking or
mobile banking
85 83 55
1)The survey is conducted annually in the months April to June.

Internet as a source of information

In 2021, 85 percent of people aged between 65 and 75 used the internet to search for information about goods and services. This is more than in 2019, when 79 percent were searching for information on the internet. The same applies to the over-75s: in 2021, 58 percent searched for information online, against 48 percent two years previously. In total, 86 percent of the Dutch population aged 12 years and over used the internet in 2021 to search for information.

Online searches for health information have also surged among the over-75s; almost half of them searched for health information on the internet in 2021, up from 36 percent in 2019.

More online banking

Over-65s are also increasingly doing their banking online. In 2019, 78 percent of people aged between 65 and 75 participated in online or mobile banking, two years later this had increased to 83 percent.

The over-75s in particular seem to have found their way to internet banking. In 2021, 55 percent of them used the internet to do their banking, against 47 percent in 2019.

In total, 85 percent of the Dutch population aged 12 years and over were online to do their internet or mobile banking.

Online or mobile banking in the three months prior to the survey1) (%)
Persoonskenmerken 2021 2019
12 yrs and over 85 84
65 to 74 yrs 83 78
75 yrs and over 55 47
1)The survey is conducted annually in the months April to June.

Smartphone the most frequently used device

In 2021, almost 9 in 10 Dutch people aged 12 years and over said that they use a smartphone. Laptops followed the smartphone as the most popular device, followed in turn by tablets. Desktop computers are being used less. Over-75s are using a tablet, laptop or desktop computer equally often.

The questions


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Irene van Kuik


Hendrik Zuidhoek

Janneke Hendriks

Richard Jollie


Gert Jan Wijma

Karolien van Wijk

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Gabriëlle de Vet

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Final editor

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We thank all CBS colleagues who have contributed to this edition of The Netherlands in numbers.