8128.0 - Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, Feb 1998  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/06/1998  Ceased
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June 11, 1998
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Home computer use jumps as nation gets online - ABS survey

The number of Australian households using computers at least weekly jumped 23 per cent to 2.4 million in the two years to February 1998, according to new survey data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Almost 2.9 million homes had a computer in February 1998.

Home computers are mostly used for games (3 million persons), study and learning (2.8 million persons) and work related activities (1.9 million persons).

However, a dramatic 258 per cent increase in the number of people logging on to the Internet at home means that 1.1 million Australians aged five and over are now regular internet users.

Thirteen per cent (850,000 households) had Internet access in February 1998. A further 470,000 households with a computer and no Internet access reported an intention to acquire the Internet from home by February 1999.

Adults (18 years and over) are the major computer user group with 7.5 million accessing a computer in the 12 months to February 1998. More than 76 per cent of these (5.7 million persons) frequently accessed a computer once a week or more.

Interest in on-line shopping from home by adults increased 13 per cent since February 1996 to 3.2 million. Interest in on-line banking from home by adults increased 16 per cent over the same period to 4.6 million persons.

The February 1998 survey also showed that 46 per cent of adults (6.2 million persons) expressed an interest in accessing on-line educational services from home and further 40 per cent (5.4 million persons) expressed interest in accessing government information services or forms lodgement services.

Beyond home PC use, in the area of electronic transactions, in the three months to February 1998, 8.9 million Australians 18 years and over used an ATM to transfer or withdraw funds and 7.9 million Australians 18 years and over used EFTPOS. A further 3.9 million used a telephone to transfer funds or pay bills.

Full details are published today in Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, February 1998 (cat. no. 8128.0) available from ABS bookshops. Main features of this publication are available from this site.