The Australian Bureau of Statistics' annual survey on the use of computers has revealed a dramatic increase in both Internet and PC use.
In February 1999, 18 per cent of households, nearly 1.3 million, had access to the Internet from home, an increase of 50 per cent over February last year.
3.2 million homes had a computer in February of this year, rising 10 per cent from the February 1998 statistics of 2.9 million households.
In the 12 months to February 1999 nearly 5 million adults, 37 per cent of the adult population, accessed the Internet. Of those, 90 per cent accessed it frequently, 40 per cent daily, 38 per cent two to six times a week and 10 per cent once a week.
In terms of Internet demographics, the 18-24 age group still held sway with 65 per cent using the Internet. Males accessed the Web more than females with figures of 39 and 35 per cent respectively. 42 per cent of adults in Australian cities accessed the Internet, while only 27 per cent of regional adults did the same.
The increased use of the Internet has created a ripe commerce field with 480,000 adults using the Internet to make an estimated 1.9 million purchases. The top two selling products were books and computers with 41 per cent of Internet shoppers buying books and magazines online and 40 per cent purchasing computer software and equipment.