8147.0 - Use of the Internet by Householders, Australia, Feb 1998  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 28/05/1998   
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May 28, 1998
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Home use of the net doubling each year - ABS

The number of Australians accessing the Internet from home has been doubling every year since 1996, according to a new report Use of the Internet by Householders, released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In February 1996 there were in the order of 250,000 home Internet users compared to approximately 1 million in February 1998.

Overall 3 million Australians 18 years and over had accessed the Internet in the 12 months to February 1998 from work, home or another location. Australians access the Internet from many sites with 1.3 million people accessing the Internet from work, 1 million from home and 1.5 million from other locations (such as a neighbour or friend's house, a place of education or a public library).

While usage of the Internet has grown considerably, household purchases over the 'net' for private use remains small, with an estimated 207,000 people having made private purchases via the Internet in the 12 months to February 1998. Around 170,000 people had paid online. An estimated 175,000 people had sourced their purchases from overseas.

Use of the Internet is proportionally more popular with younger people, with 42 per cent of all those in the 18 to 24 year age group having accessed it in the 12 months to February 1998. Those in the 25 to 39 year age group represent the largest user group (approximately 1.3 million in number). Of the 3 million Internet users, 1.7 million were male and 1.3 million were female.

While New South Wales and Victoria had the largest numbers of Internet users (970,000 and 880,000 respectively), the ACT had the highest proportion of adult Internet users (nearly 50 per cent).

Significantly, the proportion of people using the Internet in country areas is only about half that of metropolitan areas.

Details are in Use of the Internet by Householders, Australia, February 1998 (cat. no. 8147.0) available from ABS bookshops.