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8146.0 - Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2002 and 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/09/2004   
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MEDIA RELEASE

September 22, 2004
Embargoed 11:30am (AEST)
148/2004

Household use of Information Technology

The number of Australian households with access to the Internet continues to increase, with over half (53%) of households having access in 2003, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

This has increased from 46% of households in the previous year, and 16% of households five years earlier.

Household access to a computer has also risen, with close to two-thirds (66%) of households having access in 2003. This is up from 61% of households in the previous year and 44% of households five years earlier.

Household access to the Internet varied across states and territories, from 66% of households in the Australian Capital Territory to 41% of households in Tasmania. For both New South Wales and Victoria the proportion of households with access to the Internet was 54%, followed by Western Australia (53%), Queensland (52%) and South Australia (48%). Northern Territory information is not available separately.

The publication also draws from a range of previous surveys to provide a snapshot of different community group's Internet and computer usage (media please note statistics on the following community groups are not directly comparable).
    • Over one-third (39%) of people with a disability aged 15 years or over used the Internet and 48% used a computer in the 12 months prior to the survey, which was conducted from June to November 2003.
    • Of older people living in private households aged 60 years or over 21% used the Internet, and 29% used a computer in the 12 months prior to the survey, which was conducted from June to November 2003.
    • Almost two-thirds (64%) of children aged five to 14 years used the Internet, and 95% used a computer in the 12 months to April 2003.
    • Of Indigenous people aged 15 years or over, 41% used the Internet and over half (56%) used a computer in the 12 months prior to the survey, which was conducted mainly from August to December 2002.

More detail on where these groups of people are likely to use computers and the Internet and the purposes for using computers or the Internet at home is available in Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 2002 and 2003 (cat. no. 8146.0).

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