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ONS Reports 7.0 Million UK Adults Have Never Used the Internet

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 (10:16 am) - Score 327

The Government’s Office for National Statistics has published their latest Internet Access Quarterly Update Q3-2013, which reveals that the number of adults in the United Kingdom that have never gone online has shrunk from 7.1 million six months ago (Q1) to 7 million now (14% of the population).

The results represent an improvement in the on-going efforts to get more people to try the Internet. But a change of around 100,000 over six months also suggests that the progress is slowing because the report found that a total of 616,000 refuseniks had given the online world a go since the same time last year. Overall 43.8 million adults (86%) in the UK have now used the Internet.

Elsewhere the gender gap was unchanged with men (88%) being ever so slightly more likely than women (84%) to use the Internet. Younger people were similarly much more like to surf online with 99% of 16-24 year olds having done so, which falls to just 33% for adults aged over 75 (down slightly from 34% in Q1-2013).

Clearly being very old makes people less likely to wade into the online world but disability is perhaps just as important. Some 3.8 million disabled adults have never gone online and this represents over half (54%) of the 7 million adults who had never used the Internet.

Sadly how much you earn could also play a part in whether or not you go online, which is surprising given the low price of some standard broadband services (e.g. TalkTalk’s £2.50 Simply Broadband package). Overall 5% (249,000 people) of those whose gross weekly pay was less than £200 per week have not gone online, although the actual figure has fallen from 284,000 in Q1-2013. As you might expect 99%+ of those who earn in excess of £600 a week do make use of the Internet (up from 98% in Q1-2013).

On the other hand there are always those people whom quite happily elect not to go online and indeed if that’s their choice then we shouldn’t force them.

Internet Access Quarterly Update Q3-2013 (PDF)
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_336739.pdf

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