Survey reveals most households are onlineInternet shopping is also becoming more popular

29 August 2007

Using a credit card online

You may be asked for the three-digit security number, but never your PIN

More than 15 million UK households now have access to the internet, according to latest statistics.

A total of 61%, or 15.23 million households, are now online compared to 14.26 million last year, the 2007 National Statistics Omnibus Survey shows.

It reveals the numbers of people who have broadband internet access are also increasing - 51% of UK households had the technology in 2007, an increase from 40% in 2006.

Broadband

London and the South West lead the way for internet access - 69% of households in these regions were online.

Yorkshire and the Humber, the North East and Northern Ireland had the lowest access levels, at 52% each.

The figures also provide a snapshot of internet use across the UK.

A total of 31.8 million adults logged on in the three months prior to interviews for the survey taking place - an increase of 3.8 million adults from 2006.

Men were more likely to use the internet than women (71% to 62%).

Goods and services

There was also a large difference between the number of young and older people using the internet.

While 90% of the 16 to 24 age group accessed the internet, that figure fell to 24% of the 65-plus age group.

Finding information about goods or services was the most common reason for using the internet (86%), followed by sending and receiving emails (85%) and services related to travel and accommodation (63%).

Online shopping is also proving increasingly popular.

In 2007, 53% of adults had ever purchased goods or services online, with more men than women choosing to shop this way (80% to 75%).

The most popular purchases were films, music or DVDs (51%) followed by travel, accommodation or holidays (46%) and household goods (39%).

Digital television

The survey, published by the Office for National Statistics, also reveals 76% of UK households are now receiving digital television coverage.

The digital television switchover is due to take place between 2008 and 2012, the Government has confirmed.

The latest statistics show that 84% of households in the North East already receive digital television channels, while Northern Ireland has the lowest take-up with 59%.

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