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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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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)


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)


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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