Dutch government leads online engagement across Europe

Dutch government leads online engagement across Europe

In 2013, nearly 80 percent in the Dutch population reported to have accessed government websites in the past twelve months. The percentage has risen rapidly in recent years and is currently higher than in most other European countries, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands.

The proportion of 16 to 75-year-old residents using websites of the government or other public bodies has risen substantially from 60 percent in 2011 to 79 percent in 2013 as more people surf the internet for information or return completed government documents. The number of online contacts with the government exceeds other contact options: in 2013 less than half of residents had face-to-face or phone contact.

Use government websites in the Netherlands relatively high
The percentage of government website users in the Netherlands is higher than in most other countries in Europe. Denmark and Iceland are the only countries where the rate is higher (85 percent). The EU average (excluding Iceland and Norway) has varied around 40 percent in recent years.

Three quarters in the Dutch population aged between 16 and 75 search for information on government websites and more than half download official documents. These shares are well above the average level across Europe, where 37 percent search the internet for information and one quarter download documents. The Dutch government promotes online contacts with its citizens.

Mainly tax declarations
In the Netherlands, 57 percent of government website users submit their annual tax declaration online, i.e. well above the average EU level of 44 percent, though not the highest in Europe. Government websites are also frequently accessed to apply for personal documents, like passports, driving licences or birth certificates. On average, 17 percent of Dutch website users applied for personal documents online versus an EU average of 20 percent.

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