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Household use of information technology

Presents estimates on household internet access including number and types of devices, reasons for use, and experience of cybersecurity

Reference period
2016 - 2017

Key findings

Household internet access

The proportion of households with access to the internet at home has been steadily climbing since 2004-05 but remained constant between 2014-15 and 2016-17 at 86%.

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(a) HUIT data were collected biennially from 2008-09.
(b) Definitions of household internet access and personal internet access are available in the Glossary.

For households with children aged under 15 years, 97% had access to the internet compared with 82% of households without children under 15.

Households located in major cities were more likely to have internet access at home (88%) than those in remote or very remote parts of Australia (77%).

Devices used to access the internet at home

Desktop or laptop computers are used by 91% of connected households. Similarly, mobile or smart phones are also used by 91% of connected households.

Tablets were the next most popular type of device used by 66% of households to connect to the internet. Internet connected TVs had the largest increase in usage by households, from 27% in 2014-15 to 42% in 2016-17. Internet connected music or video player devices showed a drop in usage from 26% in 2014-15 to 19% in 2016-17.

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The mean number of devices used to access the internet at home per household has increased from 5.8 in 2014-15 to 6.2 in 2016-17. For households with children aged under 15 years, the mean number of devices used was 7.8, compared with 5.4 devices for households without children under 15. Nearly all (99%) households with children under 15 used a mobile or smart phone to access the internet.

Child protection online indicators

In 2016-17, 14% of connected households with children aged 5-14 stated a child had been exposed to inappropriate material and 5% of these households stated a child aged 5-14 had been subject to cyberbullying.

Internet users and cyber security indicators

In 2016-17, 5% of internet users stated they had experienced abuse of personal information and 9% of internet users stated they had experienced damage or loss caused by a virus or other computer infection.

Internet access by persons

In 2016–17, 87% of people were internet users (persons aged 15 years and over who accessed the internet in the last three months). People aged 15 to 17 years were the highest proportion of internet users (98%) compared with the older age group (65 years and over) which had the lowest proportion of internet users (55%).

The three most popular online activities were entertainment, social networking and banking (all 80%). The proportion of internet users accessing the internet for health services or health research has increased from 22% of internet users in 2014-15 to 46% in 2016-17.

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Household internet access

Persons use of the internet