The Survey on Equipment and Use of Information and Communication Technologies in Households (ICT-H) is a panel-type research focusing on people aged 10 and over living in family homes, which collects annual information on ICT products in households (telephone, television, computer, Internet...) and the degree and form in which people use these, especially with regards to the use of the computer, mobile telephone, Internet and e-commerce. This information is broken down by demographic variables: sex, age, size of the municipality of residence, type of home and Autonomous Community of residence and socioeconomic variables: monthly net household income, nationality, level of education, employment and professional situation and main occupation.
It is a sampling survey in which the first stage units are the census tracts. The second stage units are the main family dwellings. In the third stage, a person aged 16 or over is selected from each dwelling.
Likewise, information is also obtained for all children aged 10 to 15 in the dwelling and about age group of people aged 75 and over.
For the education level, the 2014 National Classification of Education (CNED-2014) is used to the level of one digit to break down the information into:
- Illiterate and incomplete primary education studies.
- Primary Education
- First stage of Secondary Education and similar
- Second stage of Secondary Education and similar (Spanish Baccalaureate and Intermediate Vocational Training)
- Post-secondary non-tertiary education
- Higher Vocational Training and university non-official diploma and degree courses with a duration of 2 years or more
- University degrees of 240 ECTS (Bologna) credits, short-cycle degree graduates, university own qualifications of expert or specialist level and similar
- University degrees of over 240 ECTS (Bologna) credits, long-cycle degree graduates, Master's and specialities in Health Sciences through the residence system and similar
- It is not possible to codify
With regards to the employment and professional situation, the data are aggregated according to people's own classification of themselves:
- Employed by others with a fixed-term contract
- Household work
- Other situation.
The 2011 National Classification of Occupations (CNO-2011) is used to classify those employed as:
- Manual workers (CNO=6,7,8 and 9)
- Non-manual worker (CNO=0,1,2,3,4 and 5)
and also as:
- ICT Worker (CNO=1321, 2325, 27, 38 and 7533)
- Non-ICT Worker (rest)
Classifications by nationality and Autonomous Community follow the INE standards. For the purpose of tabulation by nationality, a distinction is made between people with Spanish nationality (including those who have dual nationality) and those with foreign nationality.
All correspond to the classifications used.
The survey includes the sector of main family homes, meaning that collective homes and second-residence homes are outside of its scope.
Main family homes and people aged 10 and over that live in these.
The survey investigates main family homes and people living in these aged 16 or over when being surveyed.
Furthermore, if there are also children aged 10 to 15 in the home, a smaller set of questions are given to them in relation to this topic.
In order to achieve greater comparability with the data published by Eurostat, the results that are presented since the first quarter of 2006 refer to homes inhabited by at least one person aged between 16 and 74 and people from this age group. However, the microdata files provide complete results of the survey's target population.
The geographical scope of the research is comprised of the entire Spanish territory.
The survey is carried out annually. Results are available from 2002. Furthermore, in 2005 and 2006 a second wave of surveys was carried out in the second quarter although, for the purposes of comparability, for these years the information comparable with the rest of the years refers to the first quarter.
Dated 30 May 2014, the homogeneous series of results of the survey corresponding to the period 2006-2012 was published, with the new population base of the 2011 Census. The 2013 results, previously published with the 2011 population base, were also modified on that date because of a new review of the population figures for 2013.
The base period is 2005, the year in which the survey was converged with European methodology, Eurostat's scope in relation to the publication of results was adopted, the tabulation of these was changed and the results began to be recalculated with the new population base of the 2011 Census.
The unit of measurement of the total column (first column) of the results tables is the number of people and the unit of measurement for the rest of the columns (disaggregation of the total according to different variables) is percentages of the total.
Data referred to the period: Anual A: 2019
The compilation and dissemination of the data are governed by the Statistical Law No. 12/1989 "Public Statistical Function" of May 9, 1989, and Law No. 4/1990 of June 29 on “National Budget of State for the year 1990" amended by Law No. 13/1996 "Fiscal, administrative and social measures" of December 30, 1996, makes compulsory all statistics included in the National Statistics Plan. The National Statistical Plan 2009-2012 was approved by the Royal Decree 1663/2008. It contains the statistics that must be developed in the four year period by the State General Administration's services or any other entity dependent on it. All statistics included in the National Statistics Plan are statistics for state purposes and are obligatory. The National Statistics Plan 2017-2020, approved by Royal Decree 410/2016, of 31 October, is the Plan currently implemented. This statistical operation has governmental purposes, and it is included in the National Statistics Plan 2017-2020. (Statistics of the State Administration).
The ICT-H survey is included in the Community statistics on the information society, therefore it is subject to the following Community regulations:
- Regulation No 808/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 concerning Community statistics on the information society.
- Commission Regulation No 2018/1798 of 21 November 2018 implementing the previous Regulation.
For more detail, visit:
INE collaborates with the Statistics Institute of Catalonia (IDESCAT) in the scope of this Autonomous Community.
There are also collaboration agreements with the Institute of Statistics and Cartography of Andalusia (IECA) and the Government of Aragon for the harmonisation of their respective surveys with that carried out by the INE, which provide microdata from the survey in the scope of their respective Communities. A collaboration agreement has also been signed with Comunidad de Madrid and the City Council of Madrid for the transfer of information disaggregated by their area of competence.
As well as these three Autonomous Communities, ten other Autonomous Communities' statistics offices receive the survey microdata file under their respective scope.
There is also a collaboration agreement with the Ministry of Economy and Business through the public corporate entity RED.ES for the investigation of certain indicators on the information society included in the Spanish Digital Agenda.
Finally, the completed survey file is sent to Eurostat in order to aggregate the results at the European level for the preparation of the Community survey on the household use of ICT.
In the microdata files, the variables that may allow for direct or indirect identification of respondents are removed. Furthermore, personal data and contact data are only available during the information collection stage.
The data are released annually.
In 2005 and 2006, two waves of the survey were carried out, meaning that data were released semi-annually although, regarding the comparability of the information, only the results from the first quarter of these two years are comparable with those from other years.
All the information relating to the ICT-H survey is published at:
Furthermore, other INE publications such as España en cifras (Spain in Figures) or the Anuario Estadistico de España (Statistical Yearbook of Spain)contain information on ICT-H. Furthermore, in May 2009 and May 2012 a monograph of Cifras INE (INE Figures) with information from the survey was published to coincide with World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (Internet Day) and in January 2014, another monograph on e-commerce and the use of new technologies was published.
INEbase is the system the INE uses to store statistical information on the Internet. It contains all the information the INE produces in electronic formats. The primary organisation of the information follows the theme-based classification of the Inventory of Statistical Operations of the State General Administration . The basic unit of INEbase is the statistical operation, defined as the set of activities that lead to obtaining statistical results on a determined sector or subject based on the individually collected data. Also included in the scope of this definition are synthesis preparation.
The database with information from the survey can be accessed through INEbase, in the Science and Technology section, or directly at:
There are anonymised microdata files available to the public from 2002, comprising the survey's complete information. These files can be downloaded at:
Users can request specific of tailored data, carried whilst preserving the confidentiality of the data in all cases, through the Information area at:
A description of the methodology is available at:
Fields 10.6 to 17 of this document are the user-oriented quality report for this operation.
On the one hand, a report on the evaluation of non-response has been published annually since 2004. See:
On the other hand, the sampling errors of the survey's main estimates have been published in the detailed results tables since 2008. See:
IFurthermore, to comply with the Community regulation, INE annually prepares a quality report on the ICT-H for Eurostat, which is approved by this body.
Quality assurance framework for the INE statistics is based on the ESSCoP, the European Statistics Code of Practice made by EUROSTAT. The ESSCoP is made up of 16 principles, gathered in three areas: Institutional Environment, Processes and Products. Each principle is associated with some indicators which make possible to measure it. In order to evaluate quality, EUROSTAT provides different tools: the indicators mentioned above, Self-assessment based on the DESAP model, peer review, user satisfaction surveys and other proceedings for evaluation.
Quality is guaranteed at all stages of the survey with control and error detection mechanisms.
Thus, the ICT-H survey collection applications are designed to ensure maximum quality in the collected information, as the recording of information is intelligent and allows for the detection and correction of range, flow and inconsistency errors. Furthermore, from the beginning of collection, detected errors are analysed and, where they are considered to be systematic, they are immediately communicated to all collection centres. There is a continuous platform throughout the collection period for the resolution of all existing methodological doubts. On this platform, any interviewer, interviewer inspector or survey inspector can raise a doubt or issue arising from the collection process and is immediately responded to by the corresponding service for its resolution.
Furthermore, the response levels are monitored daily at the provincial level to detect any problem with collection, as well as the main indicators of the survey at the sample level, which are compared with those of the preceding years with the aim of detecting gaps or irregularities in the collection of information, which are immediately communicated to those responsible for collection.
Once the collection is finished, a codification control is carried out, then the erroneous codes are modified and the partial non-response is analysed, which, in theory according to the specifications of the collection programmes, should be zero, with the exception of household incomes, which are not imputed in order to provide the users with the most primary information possible.
The total non-response in the survey is addressed through the application of calibration techniques.
Once the elevation factors are obtained, the elevated results are compared with those from the previous year in order to detect possible inconsistencies at the macro level.
This survey's collection application is fundamental in ensuring its quality. For this reason, every year it is tested to ensure that it does not contain computer errors that would lead to a loss of information or biased information. This application ultimately ensures that, even if the later stages of information review could not be carried out, the results are coherent and publishable with the least error possible in the codification of variables.
Furthermore, as this survey is carried out within the Regulatory framework of the European survey, the microdata are submitted to Eurostat's error and inconsistency detection programme, which is designed differently to that applied in INE's collection programmes. This Eurostat programme guarantees that the survey's results do not have any range, flow or inconsistency errors. In other words, the results are submitted to a double control, INE's collection application and the Eurostat programme.
Results are released in the four months following the end of collection, which gives an idea of the survey's opportunity: the results from one year are published in that same year.
On the other hand, to avoid placing a bigger burden on the respondent to complete the survey, according to Eurostat guidelines, the number of questions in the European questionnaire that the INE survey is based on cannot exceed the average number included in the 2009 and 2010 questionnaires.
To avoid an increase in the non-response rate due to respondents' fatigue, the questionnaire is managed so that it follows a logical flow of questions and, in this way, questions that are not needed for the purposes of the survey are omitted. The non-response rate may also be higher depending on the organisation responsible for collection. From 2011, collection has been outsourced, and the non-response rate increased compared to previous years. For this reason, on the 2013 collection documents, a lot of effort was made to reduce the non-response rate, which happened effectively, although by a small margin, without reaching the 2010 rates. In 2014, INE became responsible for the survey collection again, meaning that the non-response rate increased from 2015.
The survey's main user is the European Commission and Eurostat in particular, to whom all legally required obligatory information is provided. With this information, along with that of other Community countries, the European Digital Agenda's monitoring indicator is prepared, which shows the entrenchment of the information society in Europe.
Another important user is the National Observatory of Telecommunications and the Information Society of the Ministry of Economy and Business. Every year, a first draft of the questionnaire that will be used in information collection is provided to them, so that they can include additional useful information for their own means. However, these requests for additional questions can only be partly addressed, as the Eurostat survey is already very extensive and the survey is collected by telephone. Certain indicators are requested for the Spanish Digital Agenda that are not collected at the European level.
The 14 Autonomous Communities' statistics offices also use the survey results and they are provided with the microdata file of their area of competence for their own purposes.
Finally, our users include telecommunication businesses and Internet service providers, researchers, university professors and individuals .
The INE has carried out general user satisfaction surveys in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 and it plans to continue doing so every three years. The purpose of these surveys is to find out what users think about the quality of the information of the INE statistics and the extent to which their needs of information are covered. In addition, additional surveys are carried out in order to acknowledge better other fields such as dissemination of the information, quality of some publications...
On the INE website, in its section Methods and Projects / Quality and Code of Practice / INE quality management / User surveys are available surveys conducted to date.(Click next link)
The needs of the main users can be met with the only limit being the length of the questionnaire, as the information required by Eurostat is already very extensive, and it must be borne in mind that part of the collection process is done by telephone.
All the obligatory information required annually by Eurostat is collected in the survey, which issues a report endorsing the data provided and their quality. On the other hand, around 50% of the information that the other main users require in the requested year or the following year (depending on whether the questionnaire is closed or not) is provided and the rest of the information needs are addressed when the specific module of the survey that is included every year corresponds to the requested subject.
The needs of the main users are ascertained through direct contact with them, ad-hoc meetings or via e-mail.
Completed information on the obligatory variables is provided, which is indicated annually by the Commission regulation.
The rate of available obligatory statistical results is 100%.R1=100%
The sample design attempts to minimise sampling errors and the different survey processes are aimed at eliminating or reducing survey errors as much as possible, both in the collection stage (response rate and filtering control) as well as in the later stages of editing and imputation.
The survey's youth sample is under-represented, whilst groups such as older people, people dedicated to household work, etc. are over-represented. The application of calibration techniques has solved these problems. Furthermore, people with Spanish nationality responded to a greater extent than foreigners but, in this case, no calibration was carried out until 2013.
However, taking advantage of the publication of the homogeneous 2006-2012 series of survey results with the new population base of the 2011 Census, the calibration by nationality of the variables of ICT use by persons were included, as well as the traditional calibration by sex and age, in order to improve the quality of the information provided.
On the other hand, the survey uses terms that are difficult for people who don't use these technologies to understand, which is why the household variable, except where the response is an ICT user, presents problems with partial non-response. For this reason the option âI don't know/No responseâ is included for these questions.
From the information on sampling, response rate and analysis of non-response errors that is published on the INE web page, the users can assess the problems associated with this survey.
Since 2008, the sampling errors of the survey's main estimates have been published at the end of the detailed results tables. These can be accessed at:
In previous years, sampling errors were published in the survey's methodological note. See:
The standard errors (estimates of estimators' standard deviations) expressed in percentage for the national total in the 2019 survey for the most significant characteristics are:
Homeswith at least one person aged 16 to 74 :
A1(Homes that have a computer): 0.46
A1(Homes that have Internet access): 0.38
A1(Homes with a broadband connection): 0.38
Persons aged 16 to 74:
A1(Persons who have used internet in the last three months): 0.27
A1(Persons who have used the Internet at least once a week in the last 3 months): 0.31
A1(Persons who have used internet daily): 0.42
A1(Persons who have made a purchase over the internet in the last 3 months): 0.56
For the special section of minors aged 10 to 15:
Additional information about persons aged 75 or more:
A1(Persons who have used internet in the last three months): 1.00
A1(Persons who have used the Internet at least once a week in the last 3 months): 0.89
A1(Persons who have used internet daily): 0.72
A1(Persons who have made a purchase over the internet in the last 3 months): 0.43
Sampling errors can be found in the survey's methodology. These can be accessed at:
The initial theoretical sample consisted of 25,441 homes, of which 22,889 (90.0%) were surveyable.
Of the 22,889 homes considered to be surveyable at the start, 17,196 homes completed the questionnaire in full (Homes surveyed or Net Sample). Thus, the non-response rate stands at 24.9%. A4=24.9%
The main and almost only partial non-response occurs with the variable on household monthly income, with a percentage of 16.7% of the effective sample. A5=16.7%
In 2018, the time interval between the end of the reference period and the publication date of the definitive results was 138 days. TP2=138 days.
The survey is released according to the INE structural statistics availability calendar.
Although the procedures are the same throughout the national territory, which means that the results from each Autonomous Community are completely comparable, due to the sample size in the Autonomous Cities of Ceuta and Melilla, the sampling errors in these cities were much higher than in the rest of the Spanish territory, meaning that the results obtained for these Cities should be treated with caution.
Moreover, as this survey follows Community regulations in this field, the results are comparable with those of other EU countries.
The number of comparable years in the time series published in 2019 is 14 (since 2006, the year in which the survey's methodology was converged with European methodology, Eurostat's scope in relation to the publication of results was adopted, the tabulation of the results was changed and the results began to be recalculated with the new population base of the 2011 Census). CC2=14
The coherence of the information obtained is analysed against other public or private sources, with no problem with coherence detected that was not justifiable by the different methodology used. Thus, the following sources are consulted:
- the Red.es Telecommunications Market Commission (CMT) Household Panel for monitoring Internet penetration in households and the technology for accessing this, as well as the use of the Internet by individuals.
- CMT reports with information on businesses providing ICT services.
The obtained results are completely internally coherent as the software application for the collection of information controls possible inconsistencies in each questionnaire from the start. Moreover, once the information is aggregated in tables, the results are analysed in order to eliminate any inconsistencies that were not detected in the collection stage.
The estimated budgetary appropriation required to finance this statistical operation, as provided for in the 2019 Annual Programme, is 1,366.21 thousand euros.
The Community Framework Regulation that regulates this survey imposes a limit on the response burden on respondents in the European questionnaire of the average number of variables investigated in the 2009 and 2010 questionnaires, excluding basic social classification variables, and this regulation is also followed in the Spanish survey. Moreover, in 2012 a process began to reduce the survey's sample size, which is why, in 2012, 537 fewer sections were investigated than in the previous year (17.5% less) and, in 2013, 15 fewer sections were investigated than in 2012. This process to reduce the sample size ended in the 2014 survey in which a total of 2,494 sections were investigated, 19 fewer than in 2013.
The INE of Spain has a policy which regulates the basic aspects of statistical data revision, seeking to ensure process transparency and product quality. This policy is laid out in the document approved by the INE board of directors on 13 March of 2015, which is available on the INE website, in the section "Methods and projects/Quality and Code of Practice/INE’s Quality management/INE’s Revision policy" (link).
This general policy sets the criteria that the different type of revisions should follow: routine revision- it is the case of statistics whose production process includes regular revisions-; more extensive revision- when methodological or basic reference source changes take place-; and exceptional revision- for instance, when an error appears in a published statistic-.
The results are definitive when they are published and they are not subject to revision except for the changes introduced on 30 May 2014 as a result of the application of a new population base (2011 Census).
If any error is detected and the data need to be changed, an explanatory note will be added to the information in order to advise users that the data have been changed.
The results published each year are definitive.
However, and as an exception, in the 2013 results and as a result of the new population series derived from the 2011 census, the data were published with these new population estimates, which were not comparable with the results of previous years.
Dated 30 May 2014, a homogeneous series of survey results corresponding to the period 2006-2012 with the new population base of the 2011 Census was published. The 2013 results, previously published with the 2011 population base, were also modified on that date because of a new review of the population figures for 2013.
The data are obtained from a sample survey. Three-stage sampling was used with stratification by first stage units. The first stage units are the census tracts. The second stage units are the main family homes and in the third stage a person over 15 years old is selected from each home. Furthermore, in each home, all minors between 10 and 15 are investigated.
A framework of areas made up of the list of existing census tracts with reference to November 2011 and including changes that are made over time was used when selecting the sample.
The list of main family homes in each one of the survey's selected sections obtained from the most recent available Continuous Register of inhabitants was used to select second stage units.
For each Autonomous Community, an independent sample was designed that represented it, as one of the survey's objectives was to provide data to that level of disaggregation.
For more detail on the sample design, see the methodological report, which can be accessed at:
The ICT-H survey is an annual survey.
In 2017, for the first time, data were collected using three procedures:
- Computer Assisted Web Interview (CAWI): The interviewee completes the questionnaire through the internet at any time during the collection period.
- Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI): The interviewer does not use paper questionnaires, but rather has a portable computer in which the questionnaire is available and the interviews are completed using this portable computer.
Using this method, households from the sections with a new sample and households that were already included in the sample of the previous year that do not have a contact telephone are interviewed if they have not completed the questionnaire through the Internet.
- Telephone interview in a CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interview) centre: the households included in the previous year's sample that have not responded through CAWI are interviewed by telephone from a CATI centre, wherever a telephone number is available. The interviewer does not use paper questionnaires, but rather directly records the respondent's responses in an electronic questionnaire.
For more information, see the following link to this survey's methodology:
A filtering system is used to filter entered data that detects errors and inconsistencies. Then a second filtering process is applied in each collection centre and, finally, a centralised filtering is carried out with a special focus on the homogenisation of the codification of variables that need it and the comparison of results with those obtained in previous years.
The filtered CAWI, CAPI and CATI files are integrated in a single file and then the codification of the variables that need reviewing are reviewed. To obtain the results, ratio estimators are used, calibrated according to information from external sources.
For the results of households, the final estimator is obtained by applying reweighting techniques using CALMAR software. The estimate of the total main household classified according to their size (5 sizes) for each Autonomous Community, with reference to 1 April 2019, was used as an auxiliary variable. Until 2012, the distribution of households used came from the Labour Force Survey. Since 2013, this information is an exogenous source and comes from the updated estimate of the total households that the last population and household censuses and the Population Figures use as their information base.
For the results of people aged 16 and over, reweighting techniques are applied to the age, sex and nationality groups at the level of the Autonomous Community (using CALMAR). The population used is an estimate of the population residing in main family homes on 1 April 2019 deduced from the Population Figures.
No seasonal adjustment is applied. Calibration techniques are applied in an attempt to correct non-response and its possible biases.