Nearly 4.5 million Portuguese (4,484 thousand), resident in the continent, access the internet, indicates the 2009 version of Marktest’s Bareme Internet. The number obtained by the market research company shows an almost 10-fold increase in the number of users of the service over the past 13 years.
If in 1997 only 5.6 percent of the population accessed the Internet, that number increased to 53.9 percent in 2009, reaching more than half the population.
According to Marktest’s figures, Internet access gained space among the population, growing at a rate of 22 percent a year. Now that the majority of the population already has access to the service, the growth rate has decreased and between 2008 and 2009 it stood at 10.5 percent.
Between regions of the country the differences have been blurred over the years and although Lisbon and Porto maintain some preponderance in terms of number of accesses it is a slight trend.
User occupation is the characteristic where the greatest differences are revealed. If, among domestic workers, Internet access is only a reality for 9.1 percent of the population, among students the percentage increases to 98.5 percent.
Age is another differentiating factor, since 96.7 percent of young people (between 15 and 17 years old) reveal access to the Internet, against 7.3 percent of the elderly population, as well as social class. Between extremes, it is possible to see that the Internet is a reality for 92.1 percent of upper class users and 19.1 percent in the lower class.