A third of UK adults now use the Internet

More than a third of the UK adult population used the Internet during February, according to new figures from BMRB International.

An estimated 16.6 million people used the Net during February, equating to 36 per cent of the adult population. The figure shows that 800,000 new users went online in December, January and February.

Age and demography remain key factors in likelihood of using the Net. Almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of 15to 19-year-olds have used the Net in the past month, but only five per cent of over-65s went online.

While more than half of ABs have used the Internet in the past month, the figure plummets to just 11 per cent of those in social grade E.

The average Internet user logs on every other day. This is holding back any substantial increase in the total number of days online per month.

Heavy users (“every day or most days”) now represent just under half of Internet users, a slight rise from 43 per cent in December 1999.

Ease of navigation is the most important feature of a website for women, while speed of download is important for men. Content quality is second among both groups.

The proportion of people who have bought goods or services online in the past six months has risen from 43 per cent to 47 per cent of all Internet users, or 7.8 million people.

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