Economic importance of digital infrastructure in the Netherlands

Digitalisation has been a key driver of the growth of the Dutch economy in recent decades. The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK) asked Ecorys to map the economic importance of the digital infrastructure. This study is one of the building blocks behind the vision document “The state of the digital infrastructure” which the Dutch ministry.


Various surveys and rankings show that the Dutch digital infrastructure is in good shape. In a highly digitising economy, the importance of a robust digital infrastructure is evident. However, the social debate regarding the digital infrastructure is not only about innovation and economic opportunities, but also about the footprint of the digital infrastructure. To substantiate the vision on the digital infrastructure that Minister Micky Adriaansens (Economic Affairs and Climate) sent to the Lower House last week, the Ministry of Economic Affairs asked Ecorys to list the economic value and footprint of the digital infrastructure based on reliable CBS data.

Key findings

Using an input-output analysis, the economic value of the Dutch digital infrastructure was determined as being €24.3 billion per year, with a contribution to employment of some 200 thousand FTEs. In an input-output analysis, the sales and expenditures of the companies that realise the digital infrastructure in the Netherlands are compared, allowing the added value of these companies to the Dutch economy to be calculated. This concerns only the digital infrastructure sector, and is still separate from the added value and employment created thanks to the use of digital infrastructure.

The strong dependence of Dutch society on digital services, and the role digitalisation plays in meeting current social challenges, ensure that the digital infrastructure also represents a strong added value to society.

The footprint of our digital infrastructure on energy, material and space use is also found to be significant. However, when looking at the ratio of energy consumption to realised added value, the digital infrastructure sector has a relatively high energy efficiency of 0.0011 petajoules (PJ) per million € of added value. This is partly because the sector requires limited energy to produce relatively high added value. This makes the digital infrastructure sector comparable to the services and construction sectors.

You can find the full (Dutch) report here.

26 January 2024

2 minute read

Key Experts

Bram Boereboom

Junior Consultant

Erik van Ossenbruggen


Marten van den Bossche

Senior Partner

Tim van Doorn

Junior Consultant

Walter Hulsker