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8147.0 - Use of the Internet by Householders, Australia, Feb 2000  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/06/2000   
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A RELEASE

June 13, 2000
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
75/2000

Australians just love surfing - ABS

Half of the households in Australia (3.5 million households) had a home computer and 28 per cent (1.9 million households) had home Internet access by February 2000, according to the latest quarterly survey released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

In comparison, 45 per cent of Australian households (3.2 million) had a home computer and 18 per cent (1.3 million) had home Internet access by February 1999. The increase in the number of households with home Internet access (662,000 households) was more than double the increase in the number of households with home computers (322,000) over the 12 months to February 2000.

An estimated six million adults (43 per cent of Australia's adult population) accessed the Internet in the 12 months to February 2000.

When the characteristics of Internet users are analysed, some interesting trends emerge.
  • The likelihood that an adult is an Internet user decreases dramatically with age. In the 12 months to February 2000, 77 per cent of 18-24 year olds accessed the Internet compared to 13 per cent of adults aged 55 years or over.
  • There was a small difference between the likelihood that adult males were Internet users compared to adult females (46 per cent and 41 per cent respectively).
  • Employed adults were twice as likely as unemployed adults (56 per cent versus 23 per cent) to be Internet users.
  • Adults with incomes of $40,000 or more were far more likely to be Internet users than those adults with incomes under $40,000 (66 per cent compared to 37 per cent).
  • Adults residing in metropolitan areas were more likely to be Internet users than adults residing outside metropolitan areas (47 per cent compared to 37 per cent).

More than 5% of all Australian adults (740,000 adults) used the Internet to purchase or order goods or services for their own private use in the 12 months to February 2000. This is a significant rise from the 480,000 adults who did likewise in the 12 months to February 1999. Books, magazines and computer software were the two most common (35 per cent and 28 per cent respectively) types of goods or services purchased or ordered for private use in the 12 months to February 2000.

Male Internet shoppers outnumbered female shoppers by more than two to one (8 per cent and 3 per cent of adults respectively) and adults with incomes of $40,000 or more were four times as likely to be Internet shoppers than those on lower incomes (12 per cent of adults compared with 3 per cent).

Details are in Use of the Internet by Householders, Australia, February 2000 (cat. no. 8147.0) which is available from ABS Bookshops. The summary of the publication are also available on this site. If you wish to purchase a copy of this publication, contact the ABS bookshop in your capital city.


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