Four out of Five Canadians logged on to the net in 2009

Source: StatsCan

In 2009, four out of five (80%) Canadians aged 16 and older or 21.7 million people logged onto the Internet for personal reasons, up from 73% in 2007, according to Industry Canada’s 2009 Canadian Internet Use Survey.

The survey, which was conducted in November of 2009, asked more than 23,000 Canadians aged 16 years and over about their Internet use, including shopping, for the previous 12 months.

The following are some of the broad usage trends in Canada.

Highest use in B.C. and Alberta

The researchers found that rates of Internet use had increased in every province during this two-year period with the largest relative increase in Internet users having occurred in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador (+15% each over 2007). Rates were highest at 85% in both British Columbia and Alberta, followed by 81% in Ontario.

Among census metropolitan areas, the highest rates of Internet use were reported in Calgary and Saskatoon, both at 89%. They were followed by Edmonton, Ottawa–Gatineau, Vancouver and Victoria, at around 86% each.

Among Canadians living in communities with a population of 10,000 or more, 83% used the Internet compared with 73% of those from communities with fewer people.

Usage by Age, Gender

Not surprisingly, the report found Internet usage declined with age. In 2009, 98% of people aged 16 to 24 went online, up slightly from 96% two years earlier. Of those aged 45 or older, two-thirds (66%) went online during 2009, up from 56% in 2007. This age group, traditionally slower to adopt and use the Internet, accounted for 60% of all new Internet users since 2007.

A similar proportion of men (81%) and women (80%) used the Internet in 2009.

Usage by Income, Education

The report also found that Internet usage rose based on income and education.

In order to better understand, internet usage, the survey divided users into four equal groups, or quartiles, based on household income. The vast majority (94%) of people from households in the top quartile, those with incomes of $85,000 or more, used the Internet, compared with 56% among households in the lowest quartile, those with incomes of $30,000 or less. The respective proportions in 2007 were 90% and 48%.

When grouped by educational attainment, 89% of individuals with at least some post-secondary education used the Internet in 2009, compared with 66% among those with no post-secondary education compared to 84% and 58% in 2007 respectively.

Canadians accessing from home via broadband connections

Among those who accessed the net last year, nineteen out of twenty (96%) said the went online from home, while 42% said they used it from work, 21% from schools and 15% from libraries.

Of those who used the Internet from home, 75% went online every day during a typical month, up from 68% in 2007. In 2009, 55% were online for five hours or more during a typical week, up from 49% in 2007.

When they went online most went via a broadband connection. 92% reported going on line with a high-speed connection, up from 88% two years earlier. By connection type, 53% of home users said they accessed the net by cable line while 33% used the telephone line. Other types of home connections, mostly wireless, increased to 23% in 2009 from 13% in 2007.

Internet Usage

E-mail was still the most common online activity from home in 2009 (see chart below).

Source: StatsCan

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