6 Million Australians Used Net in ’99

More than 3.5 million Australian households had a home computer and 28 percent had home Internet access in February of 2000, according to a survey by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

For comparison, in February of 1999, 45 percent of Australian households (3.2 million) had a home computer and 18 percent (1.3 million) had home Internet access. The increase in the number of households with home Internet access (662,000 households) was more than double the increase in the number of households with home computers (322,000) over the 12 months prior to February 2000.

An estimated 6 million adults (43 percent of Australia’s adult population) accessed the Internet in the year prior to February 2000.

Among the trends identified in the ABS study:

  • The likelihood that an adult is an Internet user decreases dramatically with age. In the 12 months prior to February 2000, 77 percent of 18-24 year olds accessed the Internet compared to 13 percent of adults aged 55 years or over
  • There was a small difference in the likelihood that adult males were Internet users compared to adult females (46 percent vs. 41 percent, respectively)
  • Employed adults were twice as likely as unemployed adults (56 percent vs. 23 percent) to be Internet users
  • Adults with incomes of $40,000 or more were far more likely to be Internet users than those adults with incomes of less than $40,000 (66 percent compared to 37 percent)
  • Adults residing in metropolitan areas were more likely to be Internet users than adults residing outside metropolitan areas (47 percent compared to 37 percent)

More than 5 percent of all Australian adults (740,000 adults) used the Internet to purchase or order goods or services for their own private use in the 12 months to February 2000. This is a significant rise from the 480,000 adults who did likewise in the 12 months to February 1999. Books/magazines (35 percent), and computer software (28 percent) were the two most common types of goods or services purchased or ordered for private use in the 12 months to February 2000.

Male Internet shoppers outnumbered female shoppers by more than 2-to-1 (8 percent and 3 percent of adults) and adults with incomes of $40,000 or more were four times as likely to be Internet shoppers than those on lower incomes (12 percent of adults compared with 3 percent).

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