Daily Internet use doubles in the UK

13th March 2013

New figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that daily Internet use in the UK has doubled since records began.

On average, 33 million adults go online every day compared to 16 million in 2006 – when the ONS started to record these numbers. Not only do the figures highlight how much the Internet is affecting daily life in the UK, it shines a light on what we go online for.

Key figures from the report:

  • 42 million people in the UK have used the Internet, representing approximately 85% of the adult population
  • In 2012, 33 million adults accessed the Internet every day, more than double the 2006 figure of 16 million, when directly comparable records began
  • Approximately 87% of adults aged between 16 and 24, used social networking sites in 2012, compared to 48% of all adults
  • Telephone or video calls over the Internet were made by 32% of adults in 2012, double the 2009 estimate of 16% and four times higher than the 2007 estimate of 8%
  • Access to the Internet using a mobile phone more than doubled between 2010 and 2012, from 24% to 51%

Banking online is one of our most popular activities – which would seem pretty logical. But more and more people are choosing to listen to radio and watch TV on the Internet – which won’t have seemed very logical in 2006, but makes a lot of sense in 2013.

The rise of smartphones and tablets has perhaps prompted part of the change in our viewing and listening habits and it’s not uncommon now for four or five people in one room to be watching a different TV show!

And it’s not just in the home or at work, because 18% of adults use a portable device (tablet, laptop etc) every day to access the Internet away from home or work.

Most people, however, used mobile devices to access email (41% of all adults used a mobile phone to access their emails in 2012), while a third used (32%) location-based applications like Google maps.

Shopping, as you would figure, plays a big part in our Internet use which is good news for eCommerce businesses:

  • Two-thirds (67%) of adults bought goods or services online in 2012, up from just over half (53%) in 2008
  • Almost nine in every 10 adults (87%) aged 25 to 34 shopped online in 2012
  • A third (32%) of those aged over 65 bought online, double the estimate in 2008 of 16%

The report is proof – if it were needed – of the impact the Internet is having on daily life in the UK. Read the full report here.

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