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The Survey of equipment and use of information and communication technologies in households (ICT-L) is an annual sample-based survey conducted by the INE for the whole of Spain. On the basis of a collaboration agreement with the INE, Idescat expands upon the results offered by this operation for Catalonia.

The main objectives of the survey are:

  • to find out about the use of ICT equipment in Spanish homes (such as television, landline telephone, mobile telephone, computer equipment, Internet connection).
  • to find out about the use of computers, Internet and e-commerce by the Spanish population.
  • to satisfy the requirements of international organisations.
  • to obtain information that is comparable with that of autonomous communities, Spain and other countries.

1. Population scope

The target population is people that live in main family dwellings. Although the target population is made up people of all ages, exhaustive research is only made of people aged 16 years or more.

If children aged 10 to 15 live in the dwelling, a set of questions is asked to them on their use of computers and Internet.

2. Time scope

The survey is conducted annually, although the time periods of reference are different depending on the characteristic being researched.

We distinguish the following reference periods:

  • current moment, basically used in questions related with the equipment in the dwelling.
  • in questions related with the use of computers, Internet and e-commerce, used in the 3 or 12 months before the interviews are held.
  • the previous week, for socio-economic characteristics.

3. Geographical scope

The geographical scope of the research consists of the whole of Spain. As indicated in the objectives, the survey provides results for each autonomous community.

4. Statistical unit

Two basic observation units are considered: main family dwellings selected for the sample and the people that live in them.

The unit of analysis, in the case of dwellings, corresponds to those where at least one resident is aged 16 to 74 years. As for individuals, this unit corresponds to people aged 16 to 74 years and children aged 10 to 15 years.

5. Sample design

A stratified tri-stage sample type is used for the first-stage units, the census sections. The second-stage units are the main family dwellings and for the third stage, one person aged 16 or over is selected from each dwelling. Likewise, information is obtained on all children aged 10 to 15 years residing in the dwelling.

The frame used for the selection of the first-stage units is made up of a list of existing census sections on reference date January 1, 2001. To select the second-stage units, the list of dwellings from the most recent exploitation of the Padró Continu d'Habitants (Continuous Census of Inhabitants) was used.

The sections are grouped into strata, within each autonomous community, in accordance with the size of the municipality they belong to:

  • Municipalities with more than 500,000 inhabitants
  • Municipalities that are provincial capitals and have less than 500,000 inhabitants
  • Municipalities of between 100,000 and 500,000 inhab, that are not provincial capitals
  • Municipalities of between 50,000 and 100,000 inhab, that are not provincial capitals
  • Municipalities of between 20,000 and 50,000 inhab, that are not provincial capitals
  • Municipalities of between 10,000 and 20,000 inhabitants
  • Municipalities with less than 10,000 habitants

An independent sample is designed for each autonomous community that guarantees a minimum sample size of each in order to obtain reliable estimations that comply with some of the objectives of the survey. The sample is distributed among autonomous communities using a mixed allocation between that which is uniform and proportional to the size of the community, in order for the number of sections in the sample to be a multiple of four.

The selection of first-stage units in each stratum is done using probability proportional to the size of each section. In the case of Catalonia, the number of sections in the sample is 264, there being 8 dwellings selected in each.

In the second stage, in order to obtain self-weighted samples of dwellings for each stratum, these were selected by means of systematic random sampling and the same probability of selection.

In the third stage, and for each dwelling, equal probability was used to select one person aged 16 or more.

Although the first-stage sample remains fixed, the dwellings are partially renewed each year on a rotational basis in order to prevent families from becoming weary. Therefore, the survey is a rotating panel with four rotation shifts, whereby the dwellings of one particular shift are renewed annually. The fact that the number of sample sections in each autonomous community is a multiple of four makes it possible to adequately distribute the sections among the four rotation shifts.

6. Data collection

The questionnaire is structured into different blocks. Block I is organised as a table and identifies (by sex, age, permanent or temporary resident, etc) all of the members of the household. This block identifies which people are surveyable and is used to randomly select one of them.

Block II contains questions in reference to the equipment in the dwelling, such as television, computer, telephone, music systems, etc.

Block III contains questions about the dwelling's Internet access and Internet connection, the devices for accessing the web and the types of connections used, among others.

Block IV is a table that is filled in if children aged 10 to 15 live in the dwelling and collects information on each of their use of computers, Internet and mobile telephones.

The informant in these first four blocks can be any adult member of the household. In whatever case, the informant must be able to provide information relative to all members of the household, its equipment and, if necessary, the use of ICT by minors.

The following blocks must be answered by the chosen person as it contains questions about the personal use of ICT.

Blocks V and VI basically deal with computer and Internet use and ask questions about the last moment of usage, and the frequency and place of use. Also, block VI includes questions about Internet services: communication, searching for information, electronic banking, interaction with public administrations, etc.

Block VII formulates questions about interaction on the Internet with public administrations and the need to return filled in forms (either on the web or other means).

Block VIII contains an extensive list of questions on e-commerce: last moment of purchase, type of products or services acquired and ordered via Internet, origin of sellers etc.

Block IX asks about IT knowledge, including questions about taking IT courses and computer and Internet related tasks, among others.

Finally, block X collects data on the socio-economic characteristics (level of completed studies, professional situation, household income, etc.) of the surveyed person.

Data collection took place in the first half of 2010 (between January and May). In 2005 and 2006, the operation was carried out in two waves that corresponded to the first and second halves of the reference year.

The data collection method employs two systems: CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interview) and CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview). The personal interview with a tablet (CAPI system) is used to survey dwellings being interviewed for the first time or those that do not have a contact telephone. The other dwellings are surveyed using computer assisted telephone interviews (CATI system).

7. Concepts

Availability of ICT products in the dwelling
It is considered that one of these products is available to the household as long as it is available to one of its members even if not to all of them. Products are considered available when they are in good condition for use, undergoing short-term repairs, or ordered and purchased even though not yet installed. Having products available does not necessary mean they are owned.
Access to Internet in the dwelling
A household is considered to have an Internet connection of it can access the web using any device (computer, mobile telephone, television, etc.), regardless of the type of connection (broadband, ADSL, modem or XDSI, etc.).
Computer use
Use of computer equipment such as desktop, laptop or handheld, from any place (dwelling, education centre, workplace, etc.) for any type of computer activity for a period of time, and this use may either be personal or in the company of other people.
Internet use
Use of devices with access to Internet via any system enabling access from any place (dwelling, education centre, workplace, etc.) for any type of computer activity for a period of time, and this use may either be personal or in the company of other people.
Computer (or Internet) user in the last 3 months
People that have used a computer (or Internet) in the 3 months before the date of the interview.
Frequency of computer (or Internet) use
Refers to the use made of computers (or Internet) in the last 3 months, on average and without taking into account special situations (holidays, illness, etc.). This is considered to be daily (at least five days a week), weekly (but not daily), at least once a month (but not every week) and not every month.
Regular computer users (or Internet) users
People that, in the last 3 months, have used a computer (or Internet) at least once a week.
Internet purchasing
Acquisitions of goods and/or services by means of the Internet from any place but not including purchases at work.

8. Tabulation and publication of results

Idescat makes a tabulation of the ICT-L survey that expands upon the results offered by the INE for the autonomous community.

In order for the published data to be comparable with that offered by the INE and other official statistics organisations, the tables showing the final results refer to dwellings in which at least one person aged 16 to 74 resides, and people in this same age range.

The results are structured into 3 sections:

  • Main variables for the equipment and use of ICT
  • Equipment of ICT products in dwellings
  • Use of ICT products by people

In the tables that present the results for ICT equipment in dwellings, the information is broken down by the following characteristics:

  • Size of household
    • 1 member
    • 2 members
    • 3 members
    • 4 members
    • 5 members or more
  • Size of municipality
    • More than 100,000 inhabitants and provincial capitals
    • From 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants
    • From 20,000 to 50,000 inhabitants
    • From 10,000 to 20,000 inhabitants
    • Less than 10,000 inhabitants
  • Net monthly income of the household: sum of the regular income received by all members of the household, whether or not this income is totally or partly used to pay for the household expenses. Includes income of employees and self-employees.
    • Less than 1,100 euros
    • From 1,100 to 1,800 euros
    • From 1,800 to 2,700 euros
    • More than 2,700 euros
    • DK/NA

The tables containing the results for the use of ICT offer information broken down by demographic and socio-economic characteristics. In the first breakdown, the crossover variables are:

  • Sex
  • Age group
    • from 16 to 24 years
    • from 25 to 34 years
    • from 35 to 44 years
    • from 45 to 54 years
    • from 55 to 64 years
    • from 65 to 74 years
  • Size of household
  • Size of municipality
  • Nationality
    • Spanish (includes people with more than one nationality, one of which is Spanish)
    • Foreign

The crossover variables for the second breakdown are:

  • Level of competed studies: referring to the highest level of studies that the interviewee has reached and completed.
    • No studies
    • Primary education
    • First stage of secondary education
    • Second stage of secondary education
    • Higher level vocational training
    • Higher level university education
    • Other studies
  • Relation with activity: people are classified by whether they have or have not done some kind of paid work in the previous week to the interview date, whether for an impresario, for their own company or as a freelance.
    • Employed worker
    • Self-employed worker
    • Unemployed
    • Studying
    • Domestic work
    • Pensioner
    • Other employment situation
  • Main occupation: the surveyed person's type of work is classified from a dual perspective (Manual or non manual / ICT worker or other workers).
    • Manual worker: corresponds to Large Groups 6 to 9 in the National Classification of Occupations 1994 (CNO-94).
    • Non manual worker: corresponds to the other Large Groups (0, 1 to 5) of the CNO-94.
    • ICT worker: includes non manual workers with a job included in Primary Groups 1136, 2031, 2039, 2053, 2631, 2639, 2653, 3024, 3031 and 3042 of the CNO-94.
    • Other workers: includes manual workers and those non manual workers that are not considered ICT workers.
  • Net monthly income of the household

The results referring to the use of computers and Internet by children are broken down by:

  • Sex
  • Size of household
  • Size of municipality

In years before 2006, the results refer to the total dwellings and people aged 15 or more.

The Equipment and use of information and communication technologies in households section of the Idescat website offers information on these statistics for other years.