Internet use in Britain in 2011

This week the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) released its 2011 survey of users and non-users of the internet in Britain (HT: AnneMarie Cunningham).

Focusing on the emergence of “next generation users” in Britain, it estimated 44 per cent of those online in Britain use multiple devices, including smart phones, tablets or readers to access the internet.

Noting that next generation users can be found in all age groups, OII cites dramatic shifts over the last year in the portability and range of devices available as the key drivers behind this emerging change.

Such connected users haven’t appeared overnight. OII says their numbers grew from 20 per cent in 2007, to 32 per cent in 2009 and then to 44 per cent in 2011.

Against this grow OII balances the recognition of a continued digital divide in Britain, a worrying trend given moves to make government services digital by default.

OII’s survey said internet access remains limited to just under three quarters (73%) of Britons aged 14 years of age or older. Unsurprisingly the elderly, the retired and the poorly educated tend to be least likely to use the internet.

The latest Oxford Internet Survey questioned 2,057 people between February and March. It is available online here.

A department within the Social Sciences Division of the University of Oxford, the OII is a kind of Pew Internet for the UK.

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