8147.0 - Use of the Internet by Householders, Australia, Aug 1999  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/12/1999   
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December 20, 1999
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)

Internet and internet purchases continue to grow

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates that almost half (48%) of all Australian households (just under 3.4 million households) had a home computer in August 1999, increasing only slightly over the last year. However, nearly 23% of all households (or 1.6 million households) had home Internet access compared with 18% in August 1998, and 652,000 Australian adults used the internet to order or purchase goods or services, according to a report released today.

In the 12 months to August 1999, nearly 5.6 million adults (41% of Australia's adult population) accessed the Internet compared to 4.2 million in the 12 months to August 1998. At August 1999 the most frequently reported sites for adult Internet access were work (2.6 million people) and home (2.4 million). Around 79% of adults who accessed the Internet at home did so at least once a week compared with 76% of adults accessing the Internet at work and only 24% of adults accessing the Internet from sites other than home or work.

At August 1999, 18-24 year olds had the highest level of Internet use (74%). There were more adult males who accessed the Internet than adult females (46% and 36% respectively) and more adults in capital cities accessed the Internet than in other areas (44% and 35% respectively).

For the estimated 652,000 Australian adult Internet shoppers (purchasing/ordering for their private use in the 12 months to August) books/magazines, computer software/equipment and music were the most common types of goods or services purchased (43%, 30% and 17 % respectively) .

The survey also showed that in the three months to August 1999, 3% of adults used the Internet to pay bills or transfer funds, 1% used an electronic information kiosk to pay bills, 40% used the telephone to pay bills or transfer funds, 62% used EFTPOS and 70% used an ATM.

At August 1999, there were 544,000 adults (6% of all employed adults) who were able to access an employer's computer from home through a modem. An estimated 402,000 of these (74%) had an agreement with their employer to work from home.

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

If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication telephone 02 6252 5249.