The last six months witnessed a 14% jump in the number of web users in six major markets of the European Union, according to the gfk-webgauge study from GfK.

In Germany, France, the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain, the total number of internet users surged from 77.7 million to 88.9m over the period.

However, the rate of growth varied significantly between countries. Said GfK: “In Belgium, Germany and the UK, the number of internet users continued to rise at the same rate, whereas in the Netherlands the number evened out at a high level and in Spain remained at a relatively low but steady level. In France, too, the increase in internet users was comparatively restrained.”

The firm concludes that “the development of internet usage in Europe has lost some of its initial momentum. The individual markets are continuing to develop at varying rates, but the user patterns tend to evolve in the same way in all countries with regard to age, level of education and career profile. Despite these basic similarities, however, the intensity and type of internet use differs considerably from country to country.”

News sources: Daily Research News Online; GfK website