The German Digital Divide

    April 28, 2008

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, is experiencing a digital divide, according to German industry association Bitkom.

Western German states, including Hesse and Bavaria, have the majority of Internet addresses ending in the German ".de" country code domain, with the country’s five former Communist eastern states landing at the bottom of the list.

Overall, there were 138 Internet addresses registered per 1,000 residents in the western states, double the number on average of 69 per thousand in the east, according to Bitkom.

Germany split in 1945 following its loss in the Second World War and reunited in 1990. Even with heavy investments in the east, East Germany lags behind the western states on an economic level and has higher unemployment.

Germany has the second biggest Internet presence after the United States, said Bitkom, citing data from the German Network Information Centre (DENIC), the central registry for all domains using the top level domain ".de".

Close to 75 million Internet addresses are registered to the ".com" international domain, the majority from the United States, followed by German ".de" addresses at around 12 million.