Internet Users in the UK: 1 in 10 adults are yet to use the internet

The Office of National Statistics has released it’s 2016 report on internet use within the UK and it’s quite hard to believe that 10.2% (or 5.3 million) of UK adults have never used the internet!

As you might expect, the lowest usage segment is the over 75s, with just 38.7% of adults in this age group using the internet – the majority of which are men (46.7%), in comparison to women over the age of 75, where only 32.6% use the internet – that means a whopping two thirds of women over 75 have never used the internet! However, the report did highlight that women of 75 years old had seen the largest rise in recent internet usage, up from just 13.1% in 2011.

Again, it’s no surprise to read that almost all UK adults aged 16-24 years old were recent internet users (99.2%), with a closely following 98.8% of adults aged 16-44 years old having recently used the internet.

It is interesting to learn that the 65-74 year old age group has increased its’ internet usage the most, from just 52% in 2011 to 74.1%, showing us that uses perhaps post-retirement are keen to learn new digital skills.

UK adult internet usersFigure 1: Recent Internet Users by Age Group (Office of National Statistics, 2016)

A key area for improvement that has been gleaned from this report is within the disabled adults group. A huge 25% of disabled adults have still never used the internet before, and a further 0.5 million disabled adults had used the internet before, but not within the last 3 months, making up over 50% of the 0.9 million lapsed internet users (those who have not used the internet in the last 3 months).

The report also identifies that geography plays an integral role in the level of internet usage too. Big cities, and particularly London and it’s surrounding areas, have the highest percentage of internet usage (anything from 90-96%) with Brighton and Hove topping area internet usage. Rural areas have a much lesser internet usage, with Northern Ireland and the North East being particularly low areas (anything from 75-85%), with Falkirk being labelled as having the highest proportion of adults (25%) who have either never used the internet or not used the internet within the last 3 months.

internet usage by geographic area
Figure 2: Internet Use by Area (Office of National Statistics, 2016)

To view the full report from the Office of National Statistics, please click here.

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