People are spending twice as long online than a decade ago, according to Ofcom research


People are spending over twice as much time per week online than a decade ago, as more and more individuals have access to tablets and smartphones, according to research by Ofcom.

Ofcom’s tenth annual Media Use and Attitudes 2015 report reveals that users of the internet over the age of 16 spent on average 20 hours and 30 minutes per week online, over double the time compared to 2005 where the average time spent online was around 10 hours.

Young people, those aged between 16 and 24, have nearly tripled the amount of time per week they are online; from 10 hours in 2005 it has climbed to over 27 hours by 2014.

The report also found that in the last ten years there has been a large growth in the number of users who access public or civic information online. Less than half used the internet for such services in 2005, and by 2014 this had risen to nearly 80%.

Almost a half of adults have visited either political or campaigning websites, a large increase from 19% in 2005.

In terms of how people are accessing the internet, unsurprisingly more and more people are using tablets and smartphones: in 2010 5% of adults surveyed were using a tablet to go online, which has grown to nearly 40% by 2014.

Whilst smartphone use has more than doubled in the same period, with less than a third using a smartphone for internet access in 2010, up to 66% in 2014; overall, 9 in 10 adults in the UK regularly use the internet.

Generally people feel comfortable with sharing personal information online with over two thirds thinking that it will benefit them in some way; however, there has been an increase in scepticism at giving out credit or debit card details 21% in 2014 compared to 13% in 2013, or a mobile number up to 26% in 2014 from 17% in 2013.

Related reading