This publication presents results from the Multi-Purpose Household Survey (MPHS) that was conducted by the ABS as a supplement to the Labour Force Survey (LFS) each month from August 2004 to June 2005. The statistics included in this publication present information about access to computers and the Internet by people aged 18 years or over in these households.
ABOUT HOUSEHOLD USE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (HUIT) DATA
Data on Household Use of Information Technology (HUIT) was previously collected by the ABS in the Population Survey Monitor (1996, 1998, 1999 and 2000), Survey of Education, Training and Information Technology (2001), General Social Survey (2002), National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey (2002), Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (2003) and the Survey of Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities (2000 and 2003).
ABOUT THE 2004-05 MPHS
The 2004-05 MPHS included a HUIT module. The survey collected information from 15,524 randomly selected private dwelling households across Australia. In the survey, one randomly selected person per household was asked about their household's access to, and their own use of, computers and the Internet.
Due to the difference in the scope of previous surveys, previous person level data on household use of information technology which is comparable with the 2004-05 survey is only available up until 2002. The HUIT data for 2003 was obtained from the Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC), and person level data from this survey only relates to persons with a disability aged 15 years or over, and is thus not comparable with results from MPHS 2004-05. SDAC data are comparable at the household level.
EFFECTS OF ROUNDING
Where estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sums of the components items and totals.
MORE INFORMATION ON ABS INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY(IT) STATISTICS
Information about ABS activities in the field of IT statistics is available free from the ABS website. Details of other ABS publications relating to the production and use of IT in Australia can be found in paragraph 31 of the Explanatory Notes.
The ABS welcomes comments and suggestions from users regarding future surveys of IT use by households and individuals. These comments should be addressed to the Director, Innovation and Technology National Statistics Centre, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Locked bag 10 Belconnen, ACT, 2616.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Siddhartha De on Canberra (02) 6252 6519.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
- In 2004-05, 67% of Australian households had access to a computer at home and 56% had home Internet access. The growth in household access to computers over recent years has been significantly lower than the growth in household home Internet access. During 2004-05, whilist the proportion of households with access to the Internet increased by 3 percentage points, in the same period, the proportion of households with access to computers increased by only 1 percentage point.
- Overall, 60% of Australian adults aged 18 years and over used a computer at home and 52% accessed the Internet at home during 2004-05. Personal or private purposes was stated as the most popular purpose of computer or Internet use at home (96% of those using a computer at home and 97% of those using the Internet at home), followed by work or business related purposes.
USE OF COMPUTERS OR THE INTERNET AT HOME, by purpose-2004-05
- In 2004-05, home was reported to be the most popular site of Internet use, with 52% of adults aged 18 years or over using this site. An estimated 29% of adults aged 18 years or over used the Internet from work. Aside from home or work, the next most popular site of Internet use in 2004-05 was a neighbour's, friend's or relative's home, with 19% of adults using such a site. Overall 63% of adults aged 18 years or over accessed the Internet from any site.
INTERNET USE, by site-2004-05
- During 2004-05, dial-up access was reported to be the most popular method of Internet connection for households. Of the 4.4 million households with home Internet access in 2004-05, 69% had dial-up access and 28% had broadband Internet access.
TYPE OF HOUSEHOLD INTERNET CONNECTION-2004-05
- The uptake of broadband Internet access varied across states and territories with the Australian Capital Territory reporting the highest proportion of households with broadband Internet access. In terms of region, both household and personal access to broadband Internet was more prevalent in metropolitan areas than in ex-metropolitan areas. Of the 1.2 million households with broadband access, the most commonly reported type of technology used was Digital Subscriber Line (DSL), reported by 76% of households with broadband access.
BROADBAND INTERNET ACCESS, by type of technology-2004-05
- The number of Australian adults aged 18 years or over who purchased or ordered goods or services via the Internet for private use continued to increase from 5% in 1999 to 31% in 2004-05. Travel, accommodation or tickets of any kind were identified as the most popular product purchased or ordered over the Internet in 2004-05. Of the 4.7 million persons purchasing or ordering goods or services via the Internet, 94% spent less than $5,000 in total. Of the people that did not purchase or order over the Internet, "had no need to" was the principal reason given, followed by concerns over security. Among states and territories, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion of persons purchasing or ordering goods or services via the Internet for private use.
The publication also contains further detailed information relating to computer and Internet use, including:
- Selected characteristics of households with computers or Internet access
- Selected characteristics of persons using a home computer or the home Internet by purpose
- Selected characteristics of persons using the home Internet by main purpose
- Selected characteristics of persons using the Internet by site
- Frequency of Internet use by site
- Type of Internet connection used by households or persons by selected household or person characteristics
- Type of technology used for broadband Internet access by selected household characteristics
- Selected characteristics of persons purchasing or ordering goods or services via the Internet for private use
- Types of goods or services purchased or ordered via the Internet, total expenditure on Internet purchases and orders and the main reason for not purchasing via the Internet by different age groups.