In 2010, 30.1 million adults in the UK (60 per cent) accessed the Internet every day or almost every day. This is nearly double the estimate in 2006 of 16.5 million.
The number of adults who had never accessed the Internet in 2010 decreased to 9.2 million, from 10.2 million in 2009. There were 38.3 million adults who were Internet users (having accessed the Internet in the three months prior to interview).
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Internet use is linked to various socio-economic and demographic indicators, such as age, location, marital status and education. For example, the majority of those aged 65 and over (60 per cent) had never accessed the Internet, compared with just 1 per cent of those aged 16 to 24. While 97 per cent of adults educated to degree level had accessed the Internet, 45 per cent without any formal qualifications had done so.
The number of adults who bought or ordered goods or services online within the last 12 months reached 31 million in 2010. These Internet shoppers represented 62 per cent of all adults. The most popular products bought online were clothes and sporting goods, with 52 per cent of Internet shoppers buying these products.
Watching television or listening to the radio over the Internet has been growing in popularity in recent years, with 17.4 million adults doing this in 2010, compared with 6.4 million in 2006.
Social networking was also a popular Internet activity in 2010, with 43 per cent of Internet users posting messages to social networking sites or chat sites, blogs etc. Social networking activities proved to be most popular among 16 to 24-year-olds with 75 per cent posting messages, while 50 per cent of this age group uploaded self created content. However, social networking is not limited to young adults, with 31 per cent of Internet users aged 45 to 54 having used the Internet to post messages, while 28 per cent uploaded content.
There were 19.2 million households with an Internet connection in 2010, representing 73 per cent of households. The region with the highest level of access was London, with 83 per cent, the lowest was the North East, with 59 per cent.
When adults were asked why their household did not have an Internet connection, the most common response was that they didnít need it, at 39 per cent, followed by 21 per cent who said a lack of skills prevented them from having the Internet.
Source: Office for National Statistics UK