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Nearly half of Internet users have accessed the Internet via a mobile phone

Released: 31 August 2011 Download PDF

Nearly half (45 per cent) of Internet users accessed the Internet via a mobile phone in 2011, according to new data released today by ONS.

The information, which comes from the ONS opinions survey, shows that 71 per cent of 16-24 year old Internet users accessed the Internet via a mobile, the highest of any age group, up from 44 per cent in 2010. Internet users aged 65+, at 8 per cent, were least likely to access the Internet by a mobile. 38 per cent of all adults also accessed the Internet via another sort of mobile device, such as a laptop or tablet.

In 2011, 4.9 million people, or 13 per cent of Internet users, connected to wireless hotspots provided in public places such as restaurants, hotels or airports. This has almost doubled from last year when the number stood at 7 per cent.

Social networking is becoming ever more popular. Overall, 57 per cent of adult Internet users used online social networks in 2011, up from 43 per cent in 2010. 91 per cent of 16-24 year old Internet users now use social networking sites.

Among all households, 77 per cent now have access to the Internet, up from 73 per cent last year. 93 per cent of these access the Internet via an ADSL or cable broadband connection. However, it is notable that half of those without a household Internet connection said they didn’t have one because they ‘don’t need the Internet’.

Separate Internet access data, taken from the Labour Force Survey, show that in the second quarter of 2011, 8.73 million UK adults had never used the Internet. This was a decrease of 12,000 people since quarter one. The most likely age group to have never been online were over 75s (76.3 per cent). Over one-third of disabled people (36.8 per cent) also say they have never been online.

Background notes

  1. For a full copy of the Internet Access 2011 statistical bulletin see:

  2. For a full copy of the experimental quarterly Internet Access article see:
  3. Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available from the media office.
  4. National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference. © Crown copyright 2011.
  5. Media contact

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Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.