KNOWLEDGE BASE Mobile - Internet Usage In Germany

The information on this page was current at the time it was published. Regulations, trends, statistics, and other information are constantly changing. While we strive to update our Knowledge Base, we strongly suggest you use these pages as a general guide and be sure to verify any regulations, statistics, guidelines, or other information that are important to your efforts.



Mobile and Internet Usage in Germany


With an 93.1% internet penetration rate, Germany is wired and online. Most Germans go online regularly, use all of their devices to do so, and have made the internet part of daily life. Four out of 10 Germans have social media accounts, and active users are on their accounts several hours per day. Over 84% of Germans use multiple devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, laptops) to access the internet.

There is plenty of data available to you to understand how your target customers can be reached, and what your online strategy should be. Learn more about the Germany's mobile and internet usage and get started on determining how you can most effectively reach the German market.

Germany ranked #15 out of 139 countries in Networked Readiness Index

The World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2023 features the latest iteration of the Networked Readiness Index, which assesses the factors, policies, and institutions that enable a country to fully leverage information and communication technologies (ICTs) for increased competitiveness and well-being. The Networked Readiness Index (NRI) reveals the correlation between a country’s level of ICT uptake and the economic and social impacts ICTs have on its economy and society. In the 2023 NRI, Germany ranks 9th out of 134 countries. Germany's overall score has increased to 74.00 on a scale of 0 to 100, highlighting its continued advancements in digital readiness.


Internet and Mobile Usage, Purchase Behavior, and Social Media in Germany

Internet usage in Germany

The internet has been embraced by the Germans, with laptops garnering 65% in share of web traffic (with 35% coming from mobile devices) and Google dominating as the preferred search engine. Most houses have internet, and not surprisingly, more young Germans than old are online, and do so more frequently.

93.1% of households in Germany have internet access as of October 2023. The number of internet users continues to grow, with nearly all people ages 10 to 39 online. And while the penetration rate is still high for people up to the age of 59, there is a significant dropoff after age 60.  Not only do more young people go online, but the frequency with which they do so is higher at younger ages.  Within any age group, the majority of German internet users goes online daily, but that percentage drops off with age.

In Germany, using search engines and checking email are the most common online activities, and there is a preference to do so with laptops and desktops.  In fact, laptops and desktops are used in 65% of page views in Germany.  Google essentially owns the search engine space, handling nearly 95% of searches. As you’ll see later on, this provides us with rich analytics to understand online behavior.

Chrome is the top browser in Germany at 52.99% of the market share, followed by Firefox at 22.15%. Between the two, they hold nearly 75% share. It's crucial to test your website in all major browsers to ensure it displays properly and functions flawlessly across different platforms and technologies.


Germany and its connected devices

41.4% of Germans have at least 4 devices with which to go online, and 87% have at least one. With 77% owning computers and 82% owning smartphones, you’ll want to make sure that your sites present well for different screen sizes and consider having a mobile-friendly version or app for your site.

While smartphones and sound systems remain the most popular devices among German teenagers, gender-specific disparities exist in gaming device ownership. Staying informed about the latest trends and understanding the underlying reasons for these differences will help businesses effectively engage with teenagers in the digital age.


Mobile usage in Germany

There are more cell phones than people in Germany, with 139 mobile connections for every 100 people. And the younger they are, the more likely they are to own a smartphone. All age groups tend to own some sort of mobile phone, but the older people get, the more likely they are to have a regular mobile instead of a smartphone.

With 35% of web traffic in Germany taking place over smartphones, most people are using their phones for social networking and accessing news.  Less than half as many Germans accessing social media use smartphones for online banking or shopping. And compared to Americans, the only thing that Germans do more online with their phones is read the news.  When it comes to online banking and online gaming, the penetration rate in the US is twice as high as in Germany.

Chrome is the leading mobile browser, now at 52.99%. Safari comes in at 36.47%.


Social media usage in Germany

70.9% of the German population has a social media account and they spend around 2 hours per day accessing their accounts. Facebook is far and away the most popular social media platform, with nearly four times as many users as the next most popular, Blogger. Just over a third of the population has an active Facebook account, and just under a third has an active mobile Facebook account.

YouTube is used most at 87%, and WhatsApp is second at 82%. Be aware that Germans are much more protective of their privacy, personal data, and online personas than Americans. They are not as free with sharing information as Americans are, and keep their more personal postings and pictures for family and close friends. 

It does matter to determine the kinds of social media your target audience uses.  By simply looking at the top sites, you may miss the fact that your group could very well be active on a platform that will specifically reach them and align with their usage behaviors. 


Online purchase behavior in Germany

Germans are going online to do research for purchase decisions as well as to make purchases. The primary connected device they use to do their research is their computer, but mobile devices are a close second.

When Germans do their research online, they are using the internet at all phases of the purchase process, mostly to look for inspiration and to compare options. They also like to go directly to a retailer's site for information. The frequency of online purchases in Germany is going up year by year, with people shifting from fewer purchases to more and more purchases - and millions of people are buying things online.

There is a preference for the sorts of things German people prefer to buy online versus through traditional retail. Popular online purchases include:

  • Fashion: 59% of Germans purchase clothing and accessories online.

  • Electronics: 54% of Germans purchase electronics online.

  • Books: 52% of Germans purchase books online.

  • Travel: 48% of Germans book travel online.

Products typically purchased in-store include:

  • Groceries: 62% of Germans prefer to purchase groceries in person. 

  • Fresh produce: 75% of Germans prefer to buy fresh produce in person. 

  • Household items: 58% of Germans prefer to buy household items in person.





Globig Resources

World Economic Forum's Global Information Technology Report - Germany

World Economic Forum's Global Information Technology Report - Full Report

Statistisches Bundesamt (German Federal Office of Statistics)

KNOWLEDGE BASE Mobile - Internet Usage In Germany