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Although the analysis has thus far practically made reference to
European countries only, a more geographically comprehensive study,
such as that proposed by the World Internet Project (2005), estab-
lishes the same relationship between Internet use and education. 
Table 2.4 Internet use rates in the population with secondary and
higher education (%)
Secondary
University
United Kingdom
64.4
88.1
Portugal
64.8
75.1
Germany
66.0
62.6
Hungary
14.6
45.5
Italy
53.5
77.3
Japan
45.7
70.1
Korea
44.9
77.7
Macao
49.5
76.7
Singapore
66.3
92.2
Spain
47.6
80.5
Sweden
76.4
83.8
Taiwan
18.2
54.9
USA
61.0
87.1
Source: CIES, Network Society in Portugal Survey, 2003 for Portugal;for all other coun-
tries the WIP (World Internet Project).
In characterizing societies in transition, the similarities are crossed
with the exceptions and the question of Internet access offers a new
example for the affirmation of singularities. 
Although it is possible to establish similarities between the access
rates in some of the countries studied here (Portugal, Poland, Spain),
we also immediately find differences as to the effective use of that
access. Indeed, if we establish a ratio between access and use, we see
that Portugal is one of the countries that makes most use of the exist-
ing availability, putting it on a par with leading countries such as
Norway, the Netherlands and Finland and ahead of other societies in
transition such as the Czech Republic, which has high access figures
but very low effective use by its populations. 
What this use of the existing access availability ratio measures is the
effective use of the technology, demonstrating that there must be
other factors endogenous to each society that could explain why there
36
The Network Society
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are differences in the use of a technology even when the access is
equally high to begin with. 
Analysis of the values for Portugal and the other European coun-
tries shows that, in certain conditions, even when the access rate
increases,  that  increase  is  not necessarily directly  reflected in  an
increase in use, for there are dynamics peculiar to each country at play
that can explain the different socialization rates for the technology. 
Table 2.5—Internet access/use of access ratio
Has Internet access
Uses the
at home or at work*
Internet**
Access availability
Country
%
%
usage ratio
Portugal
37.79
29.72
0.79(4)
Austria
67.22
54.37
0.81(3)
Belgium
67.14
43.70
0.65
Switzerland
72.89
57.85 (3)
0.79(4)
Czech Republic
46.51
27.56
0.59
Germany
Denmark
76.61 (3)
62.39(2)
0.81(3)
Spain
35.45
22.20
0.63
Finland
75.95 (4)
56.19
0.74
France
50.00
37.28
0.75
United Kingdom
57.55
45.21
0.79 (4)
Greece
25.87
13.40
0.52
Hungary
46.21
19.63
0.42
Ireland
66.12
40.39
0.61
Israel
54.25
39.22
0.72
Italy
53.21
30.51
0.57
Luxembourg
68.57
51.43
0.75
Netherlands
73.05
55.88
0.76
Norway
75.29 (5)
62.07(4)
0.82(2)
Poland
38.68
23.88
0.62
Sweden
77.96 (2)
66.94(1)
0.86 (1)
Slovenia
78.92 (1)
36.14
0.46
Source: European Social Survey 2002/2003. *Note: the figures refer to the aggregated
sum of all those who responded that they at least have access regardless of the degree
of utilization. **Note: the figures refer to the aggregated sum of those who make effective
personal use of the Internet (whereby personal use is defined as:private or recreational
use that has nothing to do with the professional occupation of the user).
Societies in Transition to the Network Society
37
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38
The Network Society
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If the relationship between use of the Internet and education seems
to be transversal to all countries, there is also a characteristic in the
education dimension that seems to be common to almost all countries
analyzed her: all of them, with the exception of the Czech Republic,
reveal strong generational differences in terms of the completion of
secondary education and  tertiary education. The countries under
analysis can be grouped into three distinct groups. The first group
includes most of the countries: all those which present growth rates
for completion of the education level ranging from 300% to 50%
between the generations. This first group is also heterogeneous, for
though  countries such  as Greece  and  Hungary present values in 
the younger generations  that  place  them above 70% completion 
of  secondary education,  Portugal,  Brazil  and Uruguay are  below 
40%.  Also in this group, in  an  intermediate  position, are  Spain,
Poland, Argentina and Chile, which all have values close to 60% 
of  the  population  with  secondary  education  completed  in  the 
younger  generations.  This  first  group  (with  the  exception  of 
Greece)  is  also  characterized  by  figures  for  the  completion  of 
higher  education  that  are  clearly  below  the  average  for  the  G7 
countries. 
A second group of countries, made up of the Czech Republic and
Slovakia, seems to be in a better position, presenting diminutive gen-
erational differences in terms of education, given that even in the
older generations completion of secondary education was close to or
above 70%. 
Finally, we have a third group made up by Italy alone, a country
characterized by high growth rates for the completion of secondary
education in the younger generations and values very close to those 
of  Finland  as  far  as  investment  in  tertiary  education  by  the 
younger generations is concerned. Italy presents itself, once more, as 
 dual society: simultaneously  an information  society and one in 
transition.
The generation analysis focusing on the question of education can
also be observed when we look at the relationship between age and
use of the Internet. 
Societies in Transition to the Network Society
39
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Table 2.7 Use of the Internet by age interval per country (%)
Country
15-24
25-34
35-54
over 55
Austria
81.81
75.28
65.73
21.02
Belgium
75.60
63.35
48.18
12.69
Switzerland
88.00
76.82
71.48
29.14
Czech Republic
73.07
39.82
38.46
10.31
Denmark
91.66
81.33
72.95
33.33
Spain
50.15
35.98
28.81
3.78
Finland
91.93
82.53
63.94
22.29
France
62.67
53.90
45.00
13.28
UK
73.34
62.05
59.49
20.01
Greece
32.60
25.71
15.73
1.95
Hungary
63.55
27.55
15.24
4.15
Ireland
62.79
56.60
46.78
16.34
Israel
55.68
52.631
37.93
18.69
Italy
48.87
52.83
33.28
8.67
Luxembourg
85.71
80.00
54.54
18.18
Netherlands
87.09
76.26
67.30
29.97
Norway
85.71
80.00
74.28
30.70
Poland
53.32
34.25
18.81
3.43
Sweden
66.30
65.45
50.97
21.21
Slovenia
67.85
53.57
38.33
7.54
Average
68.91
57.56
46.56
16.61
Source:European Social Survey 2002/2003.
Another characteristic common to the societies in transition, in this
case with bearing on our analysis of European societies, is the fact that
there is a considerable difference between the use rates for the older
and younger generations. 
For all societies in transition for which there are comparative data
(Portugal, Spain, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary and Poland), one
can verify that the older citizens using the Internet correspond to only
10% of the younger users. In the case of other European countries,
the figures are almost always somewhat above 20%. 
40
The Network Society
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Table 2.8 International comparison of Internet use per age group (%)
United
Kingdom Portugal Germany Hungary Italy
Japan Korea Spain
USA
16 to 24 yrs
80.1
58.8
59.6
45.1
66.4 80.6 95.1 70.2 90.8
35 to 44 yrs
72.8
30.4
55.6
13.7
37.4 63.0 49.5 31.7 74.5
55 to 64 yrs
38.7
5.4
31.6
4.3
9.0 22.2 11.5 11.7 67.3
Source: CIES, Network Society in Portugal Survey, 2003 for Portugal;for all other coun-
tries:WIP (World Internet Project)
The age dimension also can be used for comparison not only at the
European level, for European, American and Asian societies all offer
the possibility of comparative inter-generational analyses. Italy figures
as a country in an intermediate position between information societies
such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and the USA and other
societies in transition such as Portugal, Spain and Hungary. 
The explanation for these differences between the generations in
using the Internet seems, for the societies in transition, to lie mostly in
the difference in the possession of basic forms of literacy, whereas in the
more developed information societies the differences probably have
more to do with the availability of contents that adapt to the interests of
all generations and, furthermore, the dimension of the sociability net-
works that the technology can offer to more senior citizens. 
All the factors analyzed so far in the infrastructure, production and
knowledge  dimensions and also  those relating  to  acquired  skills,
employment structure and predominance of low and medium technol-
ogy areas in the economy, are also reflected in the economies’ com-
pared productivity levels and their GDP per capita.
On a competitiveness index of 0-100, where the average for the
advanced economies is 74 points, the societies in transition under
analysis  here  occupy  varied  positions.  Chile (26th), Spain (31st),
Portugal (39th) and Slovakia (40th) are amongst the top forty coun-
tries  or  regions,  while the  remaining  countries occupy  positions
between 42nd (Hungary) and 59th (Argentina). 
Whereas the Portuguese GDP per capita represents 67% of the
average for the advanced economies, placing it amongst the top thirty
countries in an international comparison (together with Spain, Italy
and Greece), the other countries (with the exception of the Czech
Republic, Slovakia and Hungary) present values below 30% of the
GDP per capita of the G7 economies. 
Societies in Transition to the Network Society
41
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42
The Network Society
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)
8
9
(
2
)
6
9
(
2
6
)
6
7
(
3
1
)
5
8
(
3
9
)
5
7
(
4
0
)
5
7
(
4
2
)
G
D
P
p
e
r
c
a
p
i
t
a
(
U
S
$
)
2
2
6
,
1
9
0
3
5
,
7
5
0
2
4
,
0
4
0
9
,
8
2
0
2
1
,
4
6
0
1
8
,
2
8
0
1
2
,
8
4
0
1
3
,
4
0
0
S
t
o
c
k
m
a
r
k
e
t
c
a
p
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t
a
l
i
z
a
t
i
o
n
g
r
o
w
t
h
,
1
9
9
6
-
2
0
0
0
(
%
)
3
8
9
4
4
2
9
n
.
d
.
7
0
.
7
7
0
.
4
3
5
.
1
7
.
9
2
0
.
2
I
n
v
e
s
t
m
e
n
t
i
n
R
&
D
a
s
a
%
o
f
G
D
P
(
2
0
0
1
)
4
3
.
4
(
2
)
2
.
8
2
.
1
0
.
5
1
.
0
0
.
8
0
.
6
0
.
9
I
n
v
e
s
t
m
e
n
t
i
n
k
n
o
w
l
e
d
g
e
a
s
a
%
o
f
G
D
P
(
2
0
0
0
)
5
6
.
2
6
.
8
2
.
5
2
.
2
2
.
4
3
.
1
R
e
v
e
n
u
e
d
e
r
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v
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d
f
r
o
m
i
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t
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t
u
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y
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n
d
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(
U
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$
p
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1
,
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.
)
4
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.
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(
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)
1
5
1
.
7
(
4
)
0
.
4
9
.
0
3
.
1
3
5
.
3
Societies in Transition to the Network Society
43
T
a
b
l
e
2
.
9
I
n
t
e
r
n
a
t
i
o
n
a
l
c
o
m
p
a
r
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s
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a
t
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l
d
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v
e
l
o
p
m
e
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t
i
n
d
i
c
a
t
o
r
s
(
c
o
n
t
i
n
u
e
d
)
A
d
v
a
n
c
e
d
C
z
e
c
h
R
e
p
.
G
r
e
e
c
e
I
t
a
l
y
B
r
a
z
i
l
P
o
r
t
u
g
a
l
A
r
g
e
n
t
i
n
a
U
r
u
g
u
a
y
E
c
o
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i
e
s
C
o
m
p
e
t
i
t
i
v
e
n
e
s
s
(
s
c
a
l
e
0
-
1
0
0
)
1
5
6
(
4
3
)
5
6
(
4
4
)
5
0
(
5
1
)
4
8
(
5
3