1.1 HOUSEHOLD USE OF IT – YEAR 2000
The regular ABS survey of household use of IT found that more than half of all Australian households (53% or 3.7 million households) had a home computer and more than one third (33% or 2.4 million households) had home Internet access by the end of 2000.
This compares to 1998 data when 45%, and in 1999 when 48%, of Australian households had access to a home computer, while in 1998, 16% and in 1999, 23% had home Internet access. The increase in the number of households with home Internet access (793,000 households) was much higher than the increase in the number of households with home computers (439,000 households) during 2000.
An estimated 6.4 million adults (47% of Australia’s adult population) accessed the Internet in 2000. This compares with 5.5 million adults (41%) who accessed the Internet in 1999.
Almost 6% of Australian adults (802,000) used the Internet to purchase or order goods or services for their own private use during the 12 months to August 2000. This is a rise from the 5% of adults (650,000) who did likewise during the 12 months to August 1999.
There was a steady growth in some of the more popular household technologies between 1998 and 2000. The proportion of households with dedicated games machines rose from 23% in 1998 to 33% in 2000; access to pay TV rose from 11% in 1998 to 17% in 2000; while the proportion of households with an answering machine rose from 35% in 1998 to 43% in 2000. There was little increase however, in the proportion of households with a fax machine, rising from 17% in 1998 to only 19% in 2000.
Table 9 – Household technologies and number of households – 1998; 2000
Year Total HHs Games machine Pay TV DVD* Answering machine Fax
1998 6,832,000 23% 11% n.a. 35% 17%
2000 7,080,000 33% 17% 6% 43% 19%
* Excludes DVD drives in computers
1.2 MAY 2000
Key indicators from the May 2000 Household Use of Information Technology survey, released by the ABS included:
· Over half (54%) of all Australian households (3.8 million households) had a home computer in May 2000, an increase of 18% over the May 1999 estimate of 3.2 million households.
· In the 12 months to May 2000, an estimated 6.4 million adults (46% of Australia’s adult population) accessed the Internet compared to 5.5 million adults in the 12 months to May 1999.
· 6% of Australian adults (802,000) used the Internet to purchase or order goods or services for their own private use in the 12 months to May 2000. This is an increase of 23% over the 650,000 adults who did likewise in the corresponding period to May 1999.
· Books/magazines, computer software and music were the three most common (36%, 18% and 18% respectively) types of goods or services purchased or ordered for private use in the 12 months to May 2000.
· In the three months to May 2000, 8% of adults used the Internet to access government services, 8% of adults used the Internet to pay bills or transfer funds, 51% used the telephone to pay bills or transfer funds, 67% used EFTPOS and 74% used an ATM.
Over the 12 months to June 1999, Australian households spent an average of $284 on information technology goods and services. Households in the Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory spent considerably more than the States, with an average spent of $542 and $502 respectively. For the States, the average amounts spent were: Victoria $325; Western Australia $272; South Australia $266; Queensland $264; New South Wales $259; Tasmania $244.
Table 10 – Household expenditure on IT goods and services, Australia – 1998-1999(a)
Average weekly household expenditure $
Home computer equipment (including pre-packaged computer software) 3.98
TV games and computer software 1.08
Blank computer media 0.11
Online charges (Internet) 0.28
Household expenditure on information technology goods and services 5.45
Total household expenditure on recreation 88.81
(a) Table includes selected categories from ‘Recreation’ and total ‘Recreation’
(Source: ABS May 2000)
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