Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Internet Usage in Canada for last year

Statistics Canada recently released their new report on Canadian Internet usage.

Among the most interesting findings:
  1. Almost three-quarters (73%) went online for personal reasons last year - up from just over two-thirds (68%) in 2005

  2. Ontario is above national average at 75% (Alberta & BC beat us)

  3. Among people who used the Internet at home, 68% went online every day during typical month

  4. Digital divide persists amongst those with lower income, lower education, and older – though gap continues to lessen gradually

  5. Not a significant gender difference – but men tend to use the Net a bit more often and for a bit longer

  6. Vast majority of Net users (94%) use it at home, 41% from work, 20% from schools, 15% from libraries

  7. 88% of home users have high-speed connection

  8. Approximately 50% of Canadians (Internet users or not) were very concerned about online credit card use, 44% about online banking and 37% about online privacy
Most common Net activities (of home Net users)
  1. Email: 92%
  2. General browsing for fun or leisure: 76%
  3. Obtain weather or road conditions: 70%
  4. Travel planning & arranging: 66%
  5. View news or sports: 64%
  6. Electronic banking: 63%
  7. Window shopping: 60%
  8. Ordering goods or services: 45%
A new question this year was how many had contributed content (blogs, photos, discussion groups), which was 20%. Considering how popular Facebook is in Canada, I think that figure may be off as people probably didn't think of social networking activity as creating content.

A big change in this year's survey is StatsCan added data from 16 and 17 years olds this time which they admit skewed results in comparison to prior years (eg. a huge jump in cyberstalking totals for Beyoncé and Justin Timberlake). There was also a huge spike in the use of instant messaging, use for education, downloading music, and watching TV online - no doubt due to this new teen influence.

Playing games remained at 39% from 2005 to 2007. So apparently, teenagers aren't wasting their time in their rooms playing games online; they're studying it would seem - and IMing of course.

Of the activities that can't be explained by the new teen influence, almost none of them experienced significant gains (i.e. more than 2-3%) since the last survey. Has use of the web pretty much hit the peak for most activities?

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