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Norwegian survey on digital skills

In the autumn of 2020, the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills conducted a survey on the Norwegian population's digital competence and participation.

The survey measured the population’s

  • use of internet and digital tools (smartphones, computers and tablets)
  • basic digital skills
  • needs and barriers to developing digital skills
  • wish for training in digital skills


Important findings:

3 percent of the population aged 16 and up do not use the internet or digital tools (smartphones, computers, and tablets), while eleven percent have low basic digital skills.

Those with the weakest digital skills are found to the greatest extent among the elderly, people with low education, those who live in less central municipalities and among people outside the labour force. Age, education, and household income largely explain the variation in the population's digital skills.

The population's digital skills and digital use have increased since 2007. Digital security is one area where many citizens still need to develop their skills.

6 out of 10 need to strengthen their digital skills in daily life.

6 out of 10 people in the workforce need to strengthen their digital skills in working life.

The population has many different desires and obstacles to learning to use digital tools and services. One thing that prevents many of those with the weakest digital skills from getting better is that they do not have any need or interest in developing their digital skills

Seniors and people outside work and education (non-employed) are two groups with lower digital skills than the rest of the population. There are, however, large differences between the youngest and oldest seniors, and between the non-employed in and outside the workforce.

Seniors and the non-employed state other needs, obstacles, and desires for developing digital skills than the rest of the population.

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to greater need for digital skills in almost half of the population, and mostly among people in work and education. Among those who have experienced greater digital skills needs, however, seniors and non-employed have to the least extent had these needs covered.

Resource Details
Resource author
Ane Mathea Bjønness, Tor Midtbø, Hanne Størset, and Camilla Hovind Ulven
Type of resource
Studies and Reports
Language of the document
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