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8146.0 - Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 1997  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 02/11/1998   
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  • About this Release
  • More detailed analysis of the use of information technology in the home (Media Release)

MEDIA RELEASE

November 2, 1998
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
111/98
More detailed analysis of the use of information technology in the home

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) today released combined data from household surveys of the use of information technology, conducted in February and May this year, to enable a more detailed analysis of State and Territory figures and the use of the Internet by children. The previously released two sets of survey results were averaged and therefore relate to a time period of about the end of March 1998.

At the end of March, it is estimated that there were about 2.4m households frequently using a home computer. This represents 36 per cent of households, an increase from the 30 per cent recorded two years earlier. The Australian Capital Territory had the highest proportion of households frequently using a home computer (56 per cent), followed by the Northern Territory (41 per cent), Victoria (38 per cent) and New South Wales (35 per cent).

About 913,000 households had home Internet access. This was 14 per cent of all households. The ACT had the highest proportion of online households (27 per cent) followed by New South Wales (15 per cent), Victoria (14 pr cent) and the Northern Territory (14 per cent).

The surveys also measured the main barriers to accessing the Internet from home - cost (31 per cent) and lack of interest (27 per cent) were the major reasons noted.

The main barriers to having a home computer were the same, but the order was reversed - lack of interest (55 per cent) and cost (28 per cent) being most frequently recorded.

The reasons for not using home computers or the Internet were similar across the States.

Nearly 5.2 million Australians aged 5 years and over frequently used a home computer (31 per cent of the total population). The comparable figure for 1996 was 24 per cent. The ACT had the highest proportion of frequent home computer users (49 per cent).

Children were much more likely to be frequent home computer users. Fifty-one per cent of all children aged 5 - 17 years frequently used a home computer compared to 26 per cent for adults.

Not only were there different rates of use between adults and children, they also used the computers for different activities. For example, 44 per cent of adults frequently using a home computer to play games compared to 85 per cent for children. Forty-two percent of adults used the home computer for learning/study activities but 84 per cent of children used them for the same activities.

A higher proportion of adults accessed the Internet from home, 29 per cent, compared to 15 per cent for children.

These and other statistics are contained in Household Use of Information Technology, Australia, 1998 (cat. no. 8146.0) which is available from ABS bookshops. Main features of the publication are available from this site.

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