Australian Use of the Internet at Home

Internet Capable Devices People Use at Home 

From the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014-2015 and the Use of Information Technology in the Home report, there is an increase in Australian’s use of the internet and internet devices.

The number of households with Internet access rose from 83% in 2012-13 to 86% in 2014-15.  Today the figure would likely be higher.  Also with another 2+ years of the NBN rollout  the speed which people can access the Internet would or should be higher as well which should also increase Australian’s use of the internet.

Devices used in the home which can access the Internet in the 2014-15 census are via a desktop, All-In-One or laptop was 94%; followed by mobiles/smart phones at 86% and then tablets 62%. Generally households use more than one device and frequently they use all 3 categories for different purposes.

Mean Number of Devices Used

The report states that the mean number of devices used to access the Internet at home by all households was 6. Unsurprisingly for households with children under 15 the mean number of devices used to access the Internet at home was 7.

Reasons for Not Using the Internet

There were 1.3 million households in Australia without Internet access in 2014-15 (14%). The main reasons given were no need (63%), lack of confidence or knowledge (22%) and cost (16%). For households with children under 15 the main reason given was cost (43%).

For households without children under 15 was no need for access (64%). Having no need for access was also the main reason given by both households in major cities (61%) and remote or very remote Australia (50%).

Profile of Australian Internet Users

In 2014-15 85% of Australians made use of the internet (persons aged 15 years and over who accessed the Internet for personal use in a typical week). People in the 15-17 age group had the highest proportion who made use of the internet at 99% with 65 and over with 51%. Proportion of males and females accessing the Internet were the same with 84% and 85% respectively.

In 2014–15, 96% of those with a bachelor degree or above were internet users. Of those educated to year 12 or below, 77% were internet users.

Of those employed, 93% were internet users compared with 70% of those not employed. For those in the highest equivalised household income quintile 97% were internet users compared with 67% of those in the lowest income quintile.

Mean Time Spent on The Internet

For all internet users, the mean number of hours per week spent on the internet for personal use was 10. Those aged 15–17 years spent the highest mean number of hours per week on the internet (18 hours per week) and those in the 45–54 years, 55–64 years and 65 years or over age groups spent the lowest mean number of hours (7 hours per week). The mean number of hours spent per week on the internet by both males and females was 10 hours.

Main Uses of the Internet

Overall, internet use was highest among the younger age groups (persons under the age of 35).  Those aged 15–17 years old most commonly went online for social networking (91%), followed by entertainment and formal education activities (73% for both). For those aged 65 years and over the most common activities online were the same as for all internet users: banking (50%); and social networking (43%).

In 2014–15, the four most popular online activities were: banking (72%); social networking (72%); purchasing goods or services (61%); and entertainment (60%).

In 2014–15 the proportion of internet users who purchased or ordered goods or services over the internet in the last 3 months was 61% (representing 9.7 million people).  The three most common groups of goods or services purchased or ordered online by internet users were: music, movies, electronic games or books (50%); clothes, cosmetics or jewellery (46%); and tickets and bookings for entertainment events (45%).

For those aged 15–17 years the most common group of goods or services purchased or ordered online was music, movies, electronic games or books (60%), followed by clothes, cosmetics or jewellery (56%). For those aged 65 years and over the most common groups of goods or services purchased or ordered online were travel tickets, accommodation and related services (40%), followed by music, movies, electronic games or books (35%).

For males the most common group of goods or services purchased or ordered online was music, movies, electronic games or books (50%), while for females it was clothes, cosmetics or jewellery (58%).

Mean Number of Internet Transactions

Overall, the mean number of transactions for internet users who purchased or ordered goods or services online in the last 3 months was 11 transactions. The mean number of transactions was lowest for those in the lowest and second equivalised household income quintiles (9 and 8 transactions respectively) and highest for those in the highest equivalised household income quintile (14).

Internet users in major capital cities who purchased or ordered goods or services online had a lower number of mean transactions (11) than those who lived in remote or very remote areas (13).

Use of the Internet For Home Based Work

Of the 11.7 million employed people aged 15 years and over, 44% accessed the internet for home based work in the last 3 months. Types of home based work comprised home based work for an employer on an occasional basis (17% of employed persons), home based work for an employer on a regular basis (16% of employed persons) and home based work for own business (16% of employed persons).

There was a slightly higher proportion of employed males (46%) than employed females (42%) who accessed the internet for home based work in the last 3 months. Of all employed people, those in the highest equivalised household income quintile had the highest proportion of people who accessed the internet for home based work (62%), compared with 32% in the lowest equivalised household quintile and 29% in the second equivalised household quintile.

In major cities and remote or very remote Australia the proportions of employed people who made use of the internet for home based work were the same (46%). In inner regional and outer regional Australia these proportions were 38% and 35% respectively.

Persons employed in a range of occupations accessed the internet for home based work. Managers (66%) and professionals (66%) had the highest proportions of any occupation group who accessed the internet for home based work. Machinery operators and drivers (16%) and labourers (16%) had the lowest proportions of home based workers who accessed the internet for home based work.

use of the internet

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