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8147.0 - Use of the Internet by Householders, Australia, Nov 2000  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 16/02/2001  Ceased
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FINAL ISSUE


SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


INTRODUCTION

The publication presents statistics on the extent of computer and Internet access in Australia.

The survey was conducted during November 2000, collecting information from 3,200 adults randomly selected from private households. It excludes households in remote and sparsely settled areas.

An annual publication, Household Use of Information Technology, Australia (Cat. no. 8146.0) is available for 1998 and 1999. The 2000 edition is due for release on Friday May 4, 2001. This publication presents results based upon data consolidated from the four quarterly surveys of each year. This consolidation allows detail for smaller target groups, such as State and Territory populations, to be presented.

The November 2000 survey was the final quarterly survey regarding the use of the Internet by householders. The ABS is currently developing an annual survey to collect details of Internet use by householders. Before presenting the results for November 2000, an overview of the results from all the quarterly surveys follows.


A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE QUARTERLY SERIES

The influence of the Internet has spread considerably throughout Australian households over the three years for which information was collected. In February 1998, the first quarter of the survey, roughly one in every eight households had home Internet access compared to one in every three by November 2000. Before the end of the year 2001 it is expected that every second household in Australia will have home Internet access.


Household computer and Internet access

Household computer and Internet access - graph


HOUSEHOLD ACCESS

By November 2000 over half (56%) of the households in Australia, or 4.0 million households, had access to a computer at home. The number of households with home Internet access rose to 2.7 million, or 37% of all Australian households.

While the proportion of households with home access continues to rise for both computers and the Internet, the difference is decreasing. Higher levels of access occur in households with higher incomes, in households with children under 18 years and among households located in metropolitan areas.

1 HOUSEHOLD ACCESS TO COMPUTERS OR THE INTERNET (a)
Households with access to a computer at home
Households with access to the Internet at home
November 1998
November 1999
November 2000
November 1998
November 1999
November 2000

%
%
%
%
%
%
Household income
    $0-$49,999
34
33
37
10
12
21
    $50,000 or more
69
71
77
34
43
57
Households
    With children under 18 years
67
69
74
25
35
48
    Without children under 18 years
36
39
46
15
20
32
Region
    Metropolitan areas
50
53
59
22
30
40
    Other areas
43
44
52
13
17
32
Total
47
50
56
19
25
37

(a) Proportions are of all households in each category.
Source: Use of the Internet by Householders, Australia, November 2000 (Cat. no. 8147.0).


ADULT COMPUTER USE AND INTERNET ACCESS

During the 12 months to November 2000:
  • 9.2 million adults, or 66% of all adults in Australia, used a computer.
  • 6.9 million adults, or 50% of all adults in Australia, accessed the Internet.

When particular characteristics are compared, some interesting trends emerge. For instance, in the 12 months to November 2000:
  • As age increased, the likelihood that an adult was either a computer user or an Internet user decreased.
  • Older adults were more likely to use a computer or access the Internet at home, younger adults at sites other than home or work and the remaining adults either at home or work.
  • There were only small differences in the likelihoods than an adult male was a computer or Internet user compared to an adult female.
  • Employed adults were more likely to have used a computer or accessed the Internet than adults who were not employed. Even at home, large differences existed in these likelihoods.
  • As income increased, the likelihood that an adult was either a computer user or an Internet user increased. Both at home and at work there were large differences in the likelihood that adults with incomes under $40,000 had used a computer or accessed the Internet compared to adults with incomes of $40,000 or more.
  • Adults in metropolitan areas were more likely to have used a computer or to have accessed the Internet than adults in other areas.

2 ADULT COMPUTER USE AND INTERNET ACCESS, BY SITE(a)(b)
Site of computer use(c)
Site of Internet access(c)
Home
Work
Other
Any site
Home
Work
Other
Any site

%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
Age (in years)
18-24
63
47
79
88
43
26
58
74
25-39
52
54
51
81
38
34
33
64
40-54
56
55
34
72
39
33
17
52
55 or over
23
12
14
32
13
8
6
19
Sex
Males
49
44
40
67
35
28
27
53
Females
45
40
39
65
29
23
22
47
Employment status
Employed
58
62
47
82
40
38
30
63
Not employed
27
n.a
26
38
19
n.a
14
25
Income
$0-$39,999
40
30
38
59
26
15
23
41
$40,000 or more
65
77
46
89
48
55
32
75
Region
Metropolitan areas
48
44
40
68
35
28
26
52
Other areas
44
38
40
63
28
21
21
44
Total
47
42
40
66
32
25
24
50

(a) Computer used or Internet accessed during the 12 months to November 2000.
(b) Proportions are of all adults in each category.
(c) Adults can nominate more than one site if applicable.
n.a Not available.
Source: Use of the Internet by Householders, Australia, November 2000 (Cat. no. 8147.0).


OTHER RESULTS
  • In the 12 months to November 2000, 10% of all adults in Australia, or 1,335,000 adults, purchased or ordered goods and services for their own private use via the Internet.
  • Few Australian adults (12% of all adults) used the Internet to access government services in the 12 months to November 2000.
  • A similar number of Australian adults (13% of all adults) used the Internet to pay bills or transfer funds in the 3 months to November 2000.
  • In the 3 months to November 2000, almost half (49%) of all adults in Australia used the telephone to pay bills or transfer funds, two thirds (67%) used EFTPOS and almost three-quarters (74%) used ATMs.
  • Very few Australian adults (7% of employed adults) had an agreement with their employer to work from home on an ongoing basis. Five out of every six of those adults reported they made use of particular technologies, such as portable PCs, modems, floppy disks, CDs or mobile phones, to work from home.

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