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Published: 30 November 2021

E-commerce at a turning point

Fifty-seven per cent of Finns aged 16 to 89 had bought something on the Internet in the past three months. The share of those having bought various services contracted and that of those having bought goods grew. Fifty-eight per cent of employed persons had worked from home, over one-half of them daily. Ninety-three per cent of Finns aged 16 to 89 used the Internet and 82 per cent used it several times a day. These data appear from Statistics Finland's 2021 survey on use of information and communications technology by individuals.

Prevalence of Internet usage and certain purposes of use in 2021, percentage of the population

Used the Internet 1) Usually uses the Internet several times a day Online shopping 1) Bought food portions from restaurants directly or through courier services 1) Seen inaccurate or suspicious information or content on news sites or on social media 1) Used the Koronavilkku app regularly
16-24 100 98 73 43 84 35
25-34 100 99 74 43 78 42
35-44 99 96 77 36 77 47
45-54 100 91 70 21 69 47
55-64 97 82 48 9 57 48
65-74 85 66 33 4 46 40
75-89 57 27 11 0 21 16
Men 94 84 57 22 67 37
Women 92 81 56 24 60 44
All 93 82 57 23 63 41
1) During the past three months

According to the survey on use of information and communications technology by individuals, the pandemic had an effect on Finns' Internet use in 2021, too.

In 2021, fifty-seven per cent of Finns aged 16 to 89 had bought something on the Internet in the past three months. The number of e-shoppers is growing strongly only among persons aged 65 or older; among those younger than that, the vast majority repeatedly buy goods and services online. The years of the pandemic 2020 and 2021 have been a period of transition in e-commerce, when demand for services has weakened and purchasing of goods has increased. In 2021, the five most popular e-commerce product groups were clothing, shoes, accessories, etc., gambling, restaurant portions delivered home, watching or downloading movies and TV series on the web, and listening to music on the web.

In 2021, the use of the Internet for communication was more common than in the year before in the two oldest age groups of the survey. The share of those having used email grew by nine percentage points to 48 per cent among those aged 75 to 89 and by five percentage points to 81 per cent among those aged 65 to 74. Instant messaging on mobile phones also became more common in these age groups. Internet and video calls, which in previous years increased their popularity, became more common only among persons aged 75 to 89 in 2021. In other age groups, the share of those having made Internet and video calls decreased. Likewise, following social media services became more common in 2021 mainly among those aged 75 to 89.

The use of several online media became more common in 2020. In 2021, the increase in following them slowed down and ended for certain media. The share of readers of online papers and news sites of television companies remained unchanged. The share of persons watching television companies' web services increased by two percentage points to 76 per cent. The share grew most in older age groups. The share of podcast listeners in the population grew by two percentage points to 33 per cent. The share of those listening to audio books went down in the age groups under 44 and grew among persons older than that. Of the whole population, the share of those having listened to books remained unchanged at 23 per cent.

Nowadays, Internet use is only slowly becoming more general in Finland and exclusively in the oldest age groups. The share of those using the Internet daily, or almost daily, grew by six percentage points to 42 per cent among those aged 75 to 89 and by seven percentage points to 78 per cent among those aged 65 to 74. Among the entire population aged 16 to 89, altogether 93 per cent used the Internet. Eighty-two per cent used the Internet several times a day.

The pandemic had an impact on the use of information technology at work and in studies. Already in March 2020, it was recommended that remote work should be favoured at workplaces as much as possible. In the survey on use of information and communications technology 2021, altogether 58 per cent of employed persons said they had worked from home in the past 12 months. More than one-half of those having worked from home (33% of employed persons) had done so daily or almost daily. Twelve per cent of employed persons had done so once a week. Thirty-seven per cent of employed persons reckoned that working from home had increased as a result of the recommendations. Fifty-nine per cent of those having worked from home made Internet or video calls or participated in remote meetings daily or almost daily.

According to the survey on use of information and communications technology by individuals, 56 per cent of those aged 16 to 89 had downloaded the Koronavilkku application on their phone by spring 2021, when the data for the survey were collected. Sixty-four per cent of Finns with a smartphone had downloaded the application. The Koronavilkku app was also widely used. Seventy-three per cent of those having downloaded the application had kept it on continuously and 19 per cent from time to time. Only eight per cent had not used it at all or had deleted it from their phone.

By spring 2021, the Koronavilkku app had been downloaded by 2.5 million Finns and was used by 2.3 million persons. The figure is slightly higher than the National Institute for Health and Welfare's data on the weekly number of users of the Koronavilkku app.

In the survey on use of information and communications technology by individuals 2021, data were collected on checking the truthfulness of information on the Internet. It is common to come across suspicious or false information and content on the Internet. In the past three months, 63 per cent of Finns had encountered information and content on the Internet which they considered false or suspicious. Young people find suspicious content more often than old people. The share among persons aged 16 to 24 was 84 per cent and among those aged 76 to 89 correspondingly 21 per cent. Nearly one-half of those having happened upon false or suspicious information or content had checked the truthfulness of the information, young people slightly more frequently than old people.


Source: Survey on Use of information and communications technology 2021, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Perttu Melkas 029 551 2511, Rauli Kohvakka 029 551 3448, tietoyhteiskunta.info@stat.fi

Head of Department in charge: Hannele Orjala


Updated 30.11.2021

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Use of information and communications technology by individuals [e-publication].
ISSN=2341-8710. 2021. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 18.8.2022].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/sutivi/2021/sutivi_2021_2021-11-30_tie_001_en.html