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4901.0 - Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities, Australia, Apr 2009 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/10/2009   
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INTERNET USE AND MOBILE PHONES


INTERNET USAGE

In the 12 months prior to April 2009, an estimated 2.2 million (79%) children accessed the Internet either during school hours or outside of school hours. The proportion of males (80%) accessing the Internet was not significantly different from females (79%). The proportion of children accessing the Internet increased by age, with 60% of 5 to 8 year olds accessing the Internet compared with 96% of 12 to 14 year olds. (Table 19)

HOME INTERNET USAGE, By age
Graph: HOME INTERNET USAGE, By age


A higher proportion of children used the Internet at home (92%) than at school (86%). Children using the Internet at home used it for a wide variety of activities, with the most popular being educational activities (85%), playing online games (69%) and listening to or downloading music (47%). Of the 2 million children who used the Internet at home, 42% usually used it for 2 hours or less per week, while 17% used it more than 10 hours per week. (Table 20)


MOBILE PHONE USAGE

In 2009, this survey collected data on children's mobile phone ownership for the first time. It is estimated that 31% (841,400) of children had a mobile phone at the time of interview. A higher proportion of girls had a mobile phone (33%) compared with boys (29%). Older children were most likely to have a mobile phone (76% for 12 to 14 year olds), while amongst the youngest group (5 to 8 year olds) only 2% of children had a mobile phone. (Table 19)

Tasmania had the highest proportion of children with a mobile phone (41%), while in the Northern Territory 27% of children had mobile phones. There was no difference between the proportion of children who had a mobile phone by their location (living in a state capital city or outside of a state capital city (including Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory)). Mobile phone ownership was 33% for children living in outer regional areas, 31% for children living in major cities and 30% for children living in inner regional areas. Mobile phone ownership also varied by family type, with children in one-parent families more likely to have a mobile phone (38%) than those in couple families (29%). (Table 19)

MOBILE PHONE OWNERSHIP, By state/territory
Graph: MOBILE PHONE OWNERSHIP, By state/territory


More children used their mobile phone more for contacting family (60%) than for contacting friends (36%). The proportion of children using their mobile phone more for contacting family varied with age, with 95% of 5 to 8 year olds using it for this purpose compared to 52% of 12 to 14 year olds. Only 4% of children had used their mobile phone to access the Internet in the 12 months prior to interview. (Table 21)


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