84 percent of all Germans use the Internet these days. But what about the other 16 percent who are still offline? Who are these 10 million people and what reasons do they have for not using the Internet? And how can we manage to get them interested in the Internet in the future? In this blog article, we take a look at the latest findings of the D21 Digital Index 2018/2019 from Initiative D21, which produces an annual status report on the digital society.

The internet usage of Germans

No matter where you walk or stand: many people seem to have grown attached to their smartphones. Whether on public transportation, while walking, in a restaurant, in bed, and unfortunately far too often behind the wheel - our smartphone always feels like it's at most an arm's length away. A Statista study from 2018 shows: 41 percent of all respondents look at their phone within the first 15 minutes after waking up, and almost as many take a look within the last 15 minutes before going to bed.

But is it really the case that everyone is constantly online these days? How do Germans actually use the Internet? Let's take a quick look at the statistics.

Worldwide, 4 billion people use the Internet. That means more than half of all people in the world are already online. In Germany, too, the number of Internet users is rising steadily: in 2018, 84 percent of all Germans were online. One of the most important reasons for this growth is mobile internet use via smartphone, tablet and the like - it has risen by 14 percent since 2015 and will in all likelihood continue to increase in the coming years.

10 million Germans are offline

A look at the figures, however, reveals another exciting aspect on which the focus is otherwise rarely directed: There are still around 10 million people in Germany who do not use the Internet. 16 percent of all Germans are therefore still offline, as the D21 Index 2018/2019 shows.

But who actually are these people and what prevents them from not using the Internet? In this blog article, we want to take a closer look at these 10 million offliners and their reasons and motivation.

The fact is: not using the Internet is an age phenomenon. After all, among those under 40, almost everyone is online. However, if we take a look at higher age groups, usage continues to decline. In the 60 to 69 age group, 21 percent do not use the Internet at all, and among the over-70s, not even half (45 percent) are online. As the D21 report shows, three-quarters of the offliners are older than 65, and a larger proportion of them are female (64%).