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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Contents >> Communications and Information Technology >> Household use of information technology

In 2000, 53% of households (3.8 million) had a computer, an 11% increase over 1999. About one-third (33%) of households (2.3 million) had Internet access, a 49% increase over 1999 (graph 24.12). The graph also shows estimates for households with a home computer and those with Internet access in 2001 based on the reported intentions of those households without either in 2000. On that basis, a little over 60% of households were expected to have a home computer and almost 50% were expected to have home Internet access.

Graph - 24.12 Household computer and internet access(a)



Characteristics of households with home Internet access

Households with children and those on higher incomes were more likely to have access to computers and the Internet at home (table 24.13).


24.13 HOUSEHOLD COMPUTER AND INTERNET ACCESS

Computer access(a)
Internet access(a)


1998
1999
2000
1998
1999
2000
%
%
%
%
%
%

Households
With children under 18
64
66
72
22
31
45
Without children under 18
33
37
43
13
17
26
Household income
Under $25,000
20
21
24
5
6
10
$25,000-$49,999
44
45
52
12
17
28
$50,000-$74,999
61
64
66
21
31
40
$75,000-$99,999
71
73
78
32
39
55
$100,000 or more
80
81
85
44
52
69
All households
45
48
53
16
22
33

(a) Proportions are of all households in each category.

Source: Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2000 (8146.0).


Characteristics of adult Internet users

An estimated 6.5 million adults in Australia (47% of all adults) accessed the Internet from any site (home, work or other site) at some time in 2000 (table 24.14). The comparable figure for 1999 was 5.6 million adults (41% of all adults). During 2000:
  • 75% of 18-24 year olds accessed the Internet from any site, compared with 62% of 25-34 year olds, 52% of 35-44 year olds, 47% of 45-54 year olds, 26% of 55-64 year olds and 9% of adults aged 65 years and over
  • 50% of adult males and 43% of adult females accessed the Internet from any site
  • 50% of adults in capital cities accessed the Internet from any site, compared with 40% of adults who resided in other areas.

24.14 ADULTS ACCESSING THE INTERNET(a)(b), Main characteristics - 2000

Site of Internet access(c)

Home
Work
Other sites
Any site
%
%
%
%

Age group (years)
18-24
39
24
59
75
25-34
34
33
33
62
35-44
35
28
19
52
45-54
33
29
14
47
55-64
18
13
8
26
65 or over
7
2
2
9
Sex
Males
32
26
24
50
Females
25
20
21
43
Region
Capital cities
32
25
24
50
Rest of Australia
22
19
20
40
All adults
29
23
22
47

(a) Proportions are of all persons in each category.
(b) Internet access occurred during the preceding 12 months.
(c) Persons may have accessed the Internet at only one or any number of sites.

Source: Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2000 (8146.0).


During 2000, adults were most likely to access the Internet from home, a significant change from the patterns of 1998 and 1999 (graph 24.15). This reflects the strong growth over recent years in the number of households with home Internet access. The most prevalent uses of the Internet by adults at home during 2000 were to use email or chat rooms (68% of adults accessing the Internet at home), general browsing (57%) and to find information related to work (36%).

Graph - 24.15 Adult internet access, by access site



Characteristics of children accessing the Internet

An estimated 2.5 million children (47% of all children) in Australia aged 5-14 years accessed the Internet from any site (home, school or elsewhere) at some time during the 12 months to April 2000 (table 24.16). Among children aged 5-14 years:
  • regardless of whether Internet access occurred at home, school or elsewhere, the likelihood that a child had accessed the Internet increased with age
  • there was virtually no difference in the likelihood that a child of either sex had accessed the Internet, either at home, school or elsewhere
  • overall, there was no difference in the likelihood that the Internet had been accessed between children in capital cities and those in other areas. However, children in capital cities were more likely to access the Internet at home than children in other areas.

24.16 CHILDREN ACCESSING THE INTERNET(a)(b), Main characteristics - April 2000(c)

Site of Internet access(d)

Home
School
Someone else's home
Public library
Any site
%
%
%
%
%

Age groups (years)
5-8
12
12
3
1
22
9-11
30
37
10
3
55
12-14
42
51
19
7
72
Sex
Males
27
32
10
4
47
Females
25
30
9
3
46
Region
Capital cities
28
30
10
3
47
Rest of Australia
23
33
10
4
47
All children
26
31
10
3
47

(a) Children were aged 5-14 years.
(b) Proportions are of all children in each category.
(c) Internet access occurred during the preceding 12 months.
(d) Children may have accessed the Internet at only one or any number of sites.

Source: Use of the Internet by Householders, Australia, August 2000 (8147.0).


The most prevalent uses of the Internet at home by children aged 5-14 years were for school or educational activities (83% of all 5-14 year olds who accessed the Internet at home), to use email or chat rooms (51%), browsing the Internet for leisure (50%) and to play games (40%).

Internet purchasing

About 7% of Australian adults (967,000) used the Internet to purchase or order goods or services for their own private use in 2000, compared to 5% of Australian adults (653,000) in 1999. The majority of Internet users (5.5 million adults) were not Internet shoppers during 2000.

In 2000, adults mainly purchased or ordered the following items over the Internet:
  • books or magazines (by 33% of adult Internet shoppers)
  • music (by 21%)
  • computer software (by 19%).

During this period, 82% of adult Internet shoppers paid for all or part of their purchases/orders on-line. On average, over a 12-month period, each Internet shopper in 2000 spent $600 purchasing or ordering goods or services for private use via the Internet.

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