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Internet use becoming pervasive show ONS stats

Antony Savvas | March 4, 2013
The ONS says that last year 33 million adults accessed the internet every day.

Internet use is rapidly becoming pervasive in the UK, helped by smartphone use, according to the latest data to be released by the Office for National Statistics.

The ONS says that last year 33 million adults accessed the internet every day, more than double the 2006 figure of 16 million, when directly comparable records began.

Access to the internet using a mobile phone more than doubled between 2010 and 2012, from 24 percent to 51 percent. In 2012, 32 percent of adults accessed the internet using a mobile phone every day, with the increase in line with the rapid take-up of smartphones among the population.

With smartphones able to easily handle popular applications like Facebook and Twitter, access for "everyday visits" on the internet is far easier.

For overall internet access, the ONS found that around 87 percent of adults aged between 16 and 24 used social networking sites in 2012, compared to only 48 percent of all adults.

The ONS figures also show telephone or video calls were also increasingly key applications over the internet, with 32 percent of adults making them in 2012, double the 2009 estimate of 16 percent, and four times higher than the 2007 estimate of 8 percent.

On the shopping front it is estimated that two thirds (67 percent) of adults bought goods or services online in 2012, up from just over half (53 percent) in 2008. Almost 9 in every 10 adults (87 percent) aged 25 to 34 shopped online in 2012 - the highest proportion of adults across all age groups.

Nearly a third (32 percent) of those aged over 65 also bought online, double the estimate in 2008 of 16 percent.

There is also a noticeable difference in the type of goods bought online when analysed by age. In 2012, only 18 percent of those aged 16 to 24 bought holiday accommodation online, compared with 42 percent of those aged 35 to 44.

Clothes or sports goods were the most popular online purchase in 2012, purchased by 42 percent of adults. Those aged 35 to 44 were most likely to buy these items (59 percent).


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