In 2021, among all EU Member States, Ireland had the highest share (46%) of people aged 16 to 74 doing an online course or using online learning material. Finland and Sweden both registered a share of 45%, followed by the Netherlands with 44%.
Latvia sat at the average EU level of 27%, alongside France, though the figure has jumped substantially from 21% the previous year and has almost doubled on the 14% recorded in 2017. Fellow Baltic states Estonia and Lithuania recorded figures of 42% and 29% respectively for 2021.
At the bottom of the class, doing online courses or using online learning material was not very common in Romania (10%), Bulgaria (12%), and Croatia (18%).
Compared with 2019 before the pandemic, the share of people doing online courses or using online learning material increased in all Member States, except for Romania where it decreased (-4pp) to 10%. Among the sharpest increases were the Netherlands (+21pp), followed by Luxembourg and Slovenia (both +19pp), and Greece (+18pp).
In the EU, young people aged 16 to 24 have taken more to online learning than the average adult population. In 2021, 39% of young people reported doing an online course and 49% used online learning material, compared with 23% and 27% among adults aged 25 to 34, and 20% and 23% among adults aged 35 to 44. The shares continue on a downward trend as age increases, hitting the lowest point among older people (aged 65 to 74), where 3% did an online course and 4% used online learning material.