Irish top European Union filmgoing list

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BRUSSELS -- The Irish are Europe's keenest cinemagoers, hitting the theater an average of 4.2 times a year, compared with the European Union average of 1.9.

The figures from EU statistical agency Eurostat, published Monday, reveal that other eager cinemagoers included the French (3.0), the Spanish (2.8) and Luxembourgers (2.7), while the least frequent attendees were the Romanians (0.1), Bulgarians (0.3) and Slovakians (0.6).

In the past year, 51% of EU citizens said they had been to the cinema at least once, though this figure stood at 71% in Sweden, 69% in Denmark and 66% in Ireland. When broken down by age, the figures showed the dominance of youth: 82% of 15- to 24-year-olds had been to the cinema at least once versus 66% of 25- to 39-year-olds, 53% of 40- to 54-year-olds and 24% of those over 55.

The 170-page report also reveals which countries watch the most foreign movies, who uses the Internet most and who downloads the most music.

Only 19% of those surveyed had seen a foreign-language film or television program in the past year, but that figure stood at 74% in Denmark and 73% in Sweden.

A slight majority of Europeans, 54%, said they use the Internet during their leisure hours, with 26% saying they use it every day, 15% saying several times a week and 13% less frequently than this.

Usage rates vary considerably across countries -- for example, 71% of Greeks surveyed said they never use the Internet apart from a professional capacity, while just 14% of Dutch respondents said the same.
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