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8147.0 - Use of the Internet by Householders, Australia, Nov 1999  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 01/03/2000   
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Continued growth in Australian internet access - ABS


Half of all Australian households (3.5 million households) had a home computer and one quarter (1.7 million households) had home Internet access in November 1999, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates.

This compares to November 1998 data where 47% of Australian households (3.2 million) had access to a home computer while 19% (1.3 million) had home Internet access. The increase in the number of households with home Internet access (476,000 households) was more than double the increase in the number of households with home computers (229,000) over the 12 months to November 1999.

An estimated six million adults (44% of Australia's adult population) accessed the Internet in the 12 months to November 1999 compared with 4.2 million adults (31%) in the 12 months to November 1998. As in previous quarters, adults most often reported accessing the Internet from work or home. Around 83% of adults who accessed the Internet at home did so at least once a week, compared with 79% who accessed it at work. Only 25% of adults who accessed the Internet from sites other than home or work did so at least once a week.

The likelihood that an adult is an Internet user decreases with age. In the 12 months to November 1999, 73% of 18-24 year olds accessed the Internet compared to 16% of adults aged 55 or over. There were more adult males who accessed the Internet than adult females (48% and 39% respectively) and more adults in capital cities did so than in other areas (48% and 36% respectively).

Nearly 6% of Australian adults (803,000) used the Internet to purchase or order goods or services for their own private use in the 12 months to November 1999. This is a significant rise from the 2% of adults (286,000) who did likewise in the equivalent period to November 1998. For the estimated 803,000 Australian adult Internet shoppers, books or magazines and computer software or equipment were the two most common (27% and 19% respectively) types of goods or services purchased for private use in the 12 months to November 1999.

Details are in Use of the Internet by Householders, Australia, November 1999 (cat. no. 8147.0) which is available from ABS Bookshops.

To find out how to purchase a copy of this publication, telephone the ABS Bookshop or ABS switchboard in your capital city (listed under Australian Bureau of Statistics in each capital city telephone directory).


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Sound File: Voice of Sheridan Roberts, Director, Science and Technology Statistics, ABS:
"Twelve months ago there were 19% of Australian households, that's 1.3 million households which had Internet connections. By November 1999 that has risen to one quarter of households, 1.7 million. This is in fact nearly a 40% increase in the number of households with Internet access." (15 seconds)

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Sound File: Voice of John Ovington, Assistant Director, Science and Technology Statistics, ABS:
"To order goods or services on the Internet there's really two parts: the first stage is ordering the goods and actually placing your order for what you want and what price you're going to pay for them. The second stage is paying. The results from the latest ABS survey show that more people are prepared to order rather than pay for their goods and services on line. People typically would prefer the more traditional methods of payment over the phone or by electronic means." (29 Seconds)

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