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Government Statistics Show 41.62 Million UK Adults Have Used the Internet

Posted: 16th Nov, 2011 By: MarkJ
uk office for national statisticsThe governments Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released its latest Internet Access Quarterly Update 2011 Q3, which reports that a total of 41.62 million adults in the UK have gone online (82.9% of the adult population); that's an increase from 41.26m (82.3%) in Q2-2011 (much bigger than the +12,000 added between Q1 and Q2).

The results also mean that the number of adults who have never used the internet continues to decline, representing 8.43 million people or 16.8% (down from 17.4% in Q2-2011) of the adult population. Adults who are aged over 65, widowed or those with a disability were found to be the least likely to go online.

There were also decreases in the numbers of non-users in all age groups, apart from the youngest. The largest decrease was amongst those aged 75+, where there were 164,000 fewer non-users by Q3, compared with Q2, with the percentage of non-users in this age group decreasing from 76.3% to 72.4%.

Jonathan Stearn, Spokesperson for Consumer Focus, said:

"After a disappointing start to the year, it’s good news that there has been a noticeable fall in the last few months in the number of people who have never used the internet. However, as one in six people have still never gone online, a big challenge clearly remains.

A growing gap exists between those who are online and those who are not, as the internet becomes more of an essential utility for consumers. The best deals are often online only and people could save hundreds of pounds each year by accessing these online discounts. But unfortunately the poorest and most vulnerable customers who could benefit most from these savings are less likely to be able to access them online.

The Government must provide even more targeted support to those who lose out the most. That means tackling real barriers over cost, access, security fears, and computer skills."

Elsewhere men (20.92 million) were more likely to have used the Internet than women (20.70 million), although the difference is fairly small. Income also continues to play a part. Some 8.3% (down from 9.2%) of adults with an employed gross pay of below £200 per week had not used the internet, yet this falls to zero for anybody paid £1000+ a week.
ONS Internet Access Quarterly Update 2011 Q3 (PDF)
http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_242415.pdf
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