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Summary of Internet Access

Latest quarterly release about Internet use by adults aged 16 years and over

  • At Q4 2012, 7.42 million adults (15%) had never used the Internet. This is 3% lower than Q3 2012 and 9% lower than Q4 2011.

  • There were 43.07 million adults (85%) who had ever used the Internet at Q4 2012.

  • Men (87%) were more likely to be Internet users than women (83%).

  • By region, London had the highest rate of Internet users (89%); Northern Ireland the lowest (79%).

This is the latest quarterly release about Internet use by adults aged 16 years and over. Internet use is linked to various socio-economic and demographic characteristics, such as age, sex, disability, geographical location and weekly earnings. For example, adults who are less likely to have used the Internet include the elderly and the disabled. 

The estimates in this release are derived from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and are not seasonally adjusted. ONS developed these statistics to meet the needs of users, most notably 'Raceonline 2012'. A key stakeholder is now ‘Go On UK’, a new organisation that has been set up to continue the work of Raceonline 2012, still with the main objective of encouraging more people to start using the Internet. There is a particular interest and focus in the UK on those who have never used the Internet.

On 24 August 2012, ONS published a partial release of the annual Internet Access – Households and Individuals 2012 statistical bulletin. This bulletin did not contain the estimates of adults' use of the Internet that have been included in this publication in previous years. These estimates were delayed due to a data collection problem and will be published on 28 February 2013 in an extra publication, Internet Access – Households and Individuals 2012 part 2.

The estimates in the Internet Access – Households and Individuals statistical bulletin are more detailed, but are derived from the Opinions and Lifestyles Survey, which has a smaller sample size than the LFS. Therefore comparisons made between this quarterly release and the annual publication should be made with caution. The annual survey provides more information on Internet use than this quarterly update. However, due to the larger sample size of the LFS, the estimates of levels from the quarterly survey on Internet use and non-use are considered to be more accurate.

More detailed breakdown and analysis available from the Internet Access Quarterly Update, Q4 2012 statistical bulletin. 

Categories: Internet and ICT
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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