Slight rise in use of Dutch government websites

Slight rise in use of Dutch government websites

In the first half of 2013, some 13 million people aged 12 years and older in the Netherlands were using the internet on a regular basis. This is the equivalent of more than 90 percent of this age group. Seven in ten internet users had used government websites in the twelve months preceding the survey. This is 3 percentage points more than in 2012 according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands.

Government websites are mainly used by internet users with a higher level of education: 86 percent of them visited government sites to search for information, twice as many as among lower educated internet users. The proportion who downloaded, completed and returned forms – 69 percent – was nearly three times as high as among users with a lower education level. Two-thirds of internet users with a lower education level who had not sent forms online said they had not needed to do so.

The most used government internet portal is that of the Tax Authority. Nearly two out of every three internet users who had used a government website in the preceding twelve months reported their annual tax declaration as a reason for doing so. A smaller proportion visited websites for incidental reasons, such as applying for a benefit or personal documents ((19 percent), or notification of a change of address ((9 percent).

A very large majority of users ((85 percent) are very satisfied in terms of the findability and usability of online government information. More than three-quarters are pleased with the ease of use of services on the website and 61 percent are satisfied with how their requests were dealt with. In spite of this, four in ten users said they had encountered problems: mainly technical problems ((28 percent) or unclear or outdated information ((24 percent).

More than half ((56 percent) of internet users who visited government websites had also had other forms of contact with the government, often by phone ((37 percent) and/or face-to-face ((29 percent).

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