Internet use booming

Internet access in homes has almost doubled in the past five years, according to new census figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In 2001, 35% of Australian dwellings had access to the internet in the week before the census. In 2006, 63% of dwellings had access to the internet.

But regional areas and the less affluent are missing out.

At the national level, 66% of dwellings in major cities have access to the internet, compared to 42% for very remote Australia. This gap is similar for broadband access, the corresponding figures being 46% and 24%.

Individuals living in households with income of $2000 or more per week are three times more likely to have broadband access compared with persons with less than $600 per week household income.

Families (both couple and single parent) with children under 15 and dependent students are most likely to be connected. Unmarried men and women are less likely (by 25% and 37% respectively) to have broadband access than married men and women.

Unemployed people are 12% less likely, and people not in the labour force are 18% less likely, to have access to broadband in comparison with employed people in high skill occupations. People employed in low skill occupations are 27% less likely to have broadband access.

Unsurprisingly, age is also a factor. People under 24 years of age are more than 50% more likely to have broadband access compared to people aged between 35 and 44 years.

Older people are less likely to have broadband access; people aged 65 to 74 are 42% less likely, and those 75 years or more are 34% less likely to have broadband.



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