Publication - Statistics

Scotland's People Annual Report: Results from 2012 Scottish Household Survey

Published: 28 Aug 2013
Part of:
Statistics
ISBN:
9781782568582

A National Statistics publication for Scotland, providing reliable and up-to-date information on the composition, characteristics, behaviour and attitudes of Scottish households and adults across a number of topic areas including local government, neighbourhoods and transport.

203 page PDF

5.6 MB

203 page PDF

5.6 MB

Supporting files

Contents
Scotland's People Annual Report: Results from 2012 Scottish Household Survey
9 Internet

203 page PDF

5.6 MB

Supporting files

9 Internet

Introduction and Context

The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that all of Scotland is well positioned to take full advantage of all of the opportunities offered by the digital age.[63] World-class digital infrastructure that is used effectively by businesses and individuals is part of this and will support economic growth, social cohesion and future innovation.

Action as part of the strategy will allow Scotland's businesses, whether in rural or urban areas, to remain competitive in global marketplaces, support the development of innovative digital businesses and enable new ways of doing business that can cut costs, improve customer service and reduce our country's carbon footprint. It will allow public services, including health and social care, to be delivered in new, convenient and cost effective ways that provide everybody with access to sources of knowledge, education and entertainment that were not even imagined a generation ago.

The Scottish Household Survey (SHS) provides statistics on a number of relevant areas that can be used to measure progress. This chapter begins by looking at take-up of Internet and broadband by households in Scotland, with a focus on how this varies by income and area. It then looks at personal use of the Internet - including where and how the Internet is accessed - by key demographic factors, such as age and gender, health status, income and deprivation. The following section looks at reasons why adults do not use the Internet. The final part looks at use of Government and local authority websites to access information and services.

Main Findings

  • Over three-quarters of Scottish households report having home Internet access in 2012 (76%) which continues a long established year-on-year increase - three percentage point increase from 73% in 2011. Home Internet access increases with net annual household income, from around half of households for those with income less than £15,000 up to 98% of those with an income greater than £40,000.
  • Nearly all of the households in Scotland who access the Internet at home have a broadband connection (96%). Broadband uptake rates, where households have an internet connection, show very little difference by deprivation and by rurality.
  • Just over one-fifth of adults (22%) do not use the Internet at all, an improvement on the 24% reported in 2011. There is a clear relationship between age and use of the Internet, with use declining as respondents get older - though the proportion of old people using the internet continues to increase year on year (21% of those aged 75 and over in 2012 use the internet).
  • The ways in which people access the internet are becoming increasingly diverse and complex, in particular the proportion of those accessing the internet on the move, for example on a mobile phone, increasing from 14% in 2011 to 25% in 2012.
  • The SHS asked adults who make no personal use of the Internet the reasons why they did not. Among the most common responses related to people's preferences or requirements were, 32% saying they did not like using the Internet/computers, 27% saying they did not need to use the Internet/computers and perhaps more importantly 25% saying they did not how to use a computer.

Household Internet and Broadband take up

The SHS has asked whether households currently have access to the Internet from their home every year since 2003. Figure 9.1 displays the figures for households with Internet access by quarter from 2003 to 2012. The proportion of households with home Internet access has seen a gradual increase year on year. In the first quarter of 2003, 40% of households surveyed had Internet access, which increased to a peak of 78% in quarter 3 of 2012 - 76% across the entire year.

Figure 9.1: Households with home Internet access by quarter

2003-2012 data, Households (base minimum 2012: 740)

Figure 9.1: Households with home internet access by quarter

Home Internet access increases with net annual household income (Table 9.1) - although there is a break in the pattern for income bracket £6,001-£10,000 which appears to repeat annually. According to 2012 data, around a half of households with incomes of less than £15,000 had home Internet access, increasing to 98% of households with incomes over £40,000.

Table 9.1: Households with home Internet access by net annual household income

Column percentages, 2012 data

Households £0 - £6,000 £6,001 - £10,000 £10,001 - £15,000 £15,001 - £20,000 £20,001 - £25,000 £25,001 - £30,000 £30,001 - £40,000 £40,001+ All
Yes 58 47 53 69 86 94 95 98 76
No 42 53 47 31 14 6 5 2 24
Don't know - 0 0 - - - - - 0
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 100 370 630 550 420 320 400 520 3,300

Household income in the SHS is that of the highest income householder and their partner only. Includes all adults for whom household income is known or has been imputed. Excludes refusals/don't know responses. The figures here differ from other tables due to the smaller base total.

Table 9.2 shows that households in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland[64] are much less likely than those in the rest of Scotland to have access to the Internet at home, at 63% and 78% respectively. It should be noted that households in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland saw a four percentage point increase in internet access from 59% in 2011.

Table 9.2: Households with home Internet access by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

Column percentages, 2012 data

Households 15% most deprived Rest of Scotland Scotland
Yes 63 78 76
No 37 22 24
Don't know 0 0 0
Total 100 100 100
Base 480 2,940 3,420

Table 9.3 reports the prevalence of home Internet access by type of area, based on the Urban Rural Classification[65]. The proportion of households with home Internet access is slightly higher in rural areas than in small towns and urban areas, particularly in accessible rural areas (81%) though the difference has continued to narrow each year.

Table 9.3: Households with home Internet access by Urban Rural Classification

Column percentages, 2012 data

Households Large urban areas Other urban areas Accessible small towns Remote small towns Accessible rural Remote rural Scotland
Yes 75 75 77 75 81 75 76
No 25 25 23 25 19 25 24
Don't know - 0 - - - - 0
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 1,140 1,050 310 200 350 370 3,420

Since 2007 the SHS has asked households who currently have access to the Internet from home if they have a broadband connection. The vast majority (96%) of households that have access to the Internet from home have a broadband connection[66]. The proportion of households with access to the Internet with a broadband connection has risen year on year since 2007 (from 87%).

Although broadband is now the predominant method for accessing the Internet, take up of broadband varies slightly with household income (Table 9.4). Among households who access the Internet and have a net annual income of more than £40,000, there is almost complete uptake of broadband (99%). This compares to 91% of households who access the Internet and have a net annual household income of less than £10,000.

Table 9.4: Households with an Internet connection who have broadband by net annual household income

Column percentages, 2012 data

Households with Internet connection £0 - £6,000 £6,001 - £10,000 £10,001 - £15,000 £15,001 - £20,000 £20,001 - £25,000 £25,001 - £30,000 £30,001 - £40,000 £40,001+ All
Yes 91 91 94 94 96 96 97 99 96
No 9 9 4 4 3 2 2 1 3
Don't know - 0 2 2 1 2 1 - 1
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 50 170 330 370 350 300 380 510 2,450

Household income in the SHS is that of the highest income householder and their partner only. Includes all adults for whom household income is known or has been imputed. Excludes refusals/don't know responses.

More than nine out of ten households in Scotland who access the Internet at home have a broadband connection, regardless of the level of deprivation or rurality of the area. Broadband uptake rates are very similar among Internet using households in the 15% most deprived of areas of Scotland (94%) compared to the rest of Scotland (96%) (Table 9.5). Similarly, there appears to be little evidence of differences in broadband uptake dependent on the level of rurality (Table 9.6), though those households from accessible small town areas have the lowest take up (94%).

Table 9.5: Households with an Internet connection who have broadband by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

Column percentages, 2012 data

Households with Internet connection 15% most deprived Rest of Scotland Scotland
Yes 94 96 96
No 5 3 3
Don't know 1 1 1
Total 100 100 100
Base 290 2,250 2,540

Table 9.6: Households with an Internet connection who have broadband by Urban Rural Classification

Column percentages, 2012 data

Households with Internet connection Large urban areas Other urban areas Accessible small towns Remote small towns Accessible rural Remote rural Scotland
Yes 96 95 94 97 96 97 96
No 3 4 6 3 2 2 3
Don't know 1 1 1 . 2 1 1
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 840 760 240 140 280 280 2,540

Personal Internet Use

In addition to the questions on household take up of Internet and broadband, the SHS asks a randomly selected adult in the household whether they personally use the Internet these days, either for work or personal use. Overall, 78% of adults said that they used the Internet. Just 1% of those said that they only used it for work purposes, suggesting that the majority of users make use of the Internet, at least sometimes, for personal purposes.

The following section focuses on those who do not use the Internet at all, as the barriers to future use are arguably greatest amongst these groups. Overall, 22% of adults in 2012 did not use the Internet at all, which is a decrease from 24% in 2011.

Table 9.7 shows differences in use of the Internet by gender and age. There is no difference in personal use of the internet by gender (both male and female 22%). There is a clear linear relationship between age and use of the Internet, with use declining as respondents get older. Less than 5% of men and women aged 16 to 34 do not use the Internet (e.g. 2% of women aged 16 to 24), whereas the corresponding figures for those aged 75 and over rises to almost four-in-five (79%).

Table 9.7: Use of Internet by age within gender

Column percentages, 2012 data

Adults 16 to 24 25 to 34 35 to 44 45 to 59 60 to 74 75 plus All
All adults
Internet user 97 96 91 82 59 21 78
Does not use the Internet 3 4 9 18 41 79 22
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 400 670 720 1,210 1,200 650 4,840
Men
Internet user 97 95 87 82 58 22 78
Does not use the Internet 3 5 13 18 42 78 22
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 180 280 340 580 540 250 2,170
Women
Internet user 98 97 95 83 60 21 78
Does not use the Internet 2 3 5 17 40 79 22
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 220 390 380 630 660 400 2,670

Around half (46%) of those who have some form of a long-term illness, health problem or disability do not use the Internet, compared with 14% of those who do not have any of these conditions (Table 9.8). There is a very strong correlation between health status and age, so this could be, at least in part, a reflection of the relatively low levels of Internet use among older people, who are also more likely to have a long-term illness, health problem and/or disability.

Table 9.8: Use of Internet by whether has a long-standing limiting, illness, health problem or disability by age group

Column percentages, 2012 data

Adults Has a disability
and/or long-term
illness
Has neither disability
or long term illness
All Base (min)
16 to 24
Internet user * 97 97 20
Does not use the Internet at all * 3 3
25 to 34
Internet user 86 97 96 60
Does not use the Internet at all 14 3 4
35 to 44
Internet user 83 91 91 60
Does not use the Internet at all 17 9 9
45 to 59
Internet user 66 89 83 220
Does not use the Internet at all 34 11 17
60 to 74
Internet user 45 66 58 360
Does not use the Internet at all 55 34 42
75 plus
Internet user 21 24 22 260
Does not use the Internet at all 79 76 78
All
Internet user 54 86 78 970
Does not use the Internet at all 46 14 22

As with the previous data presented on household Internet use, there are also differences in the use of the Internet by net annual household income (Table 9.9). In general, the proportion of adults who use the Internet increases as net annual income increases - with the exception of those living in households with a net annual income of under £6,000 where there appears to be a relatively higher proportion of adults using the internet compared to other income groups (e.g. 63% for less than £6,000 dropping to 55% where income is between £6,001 and £10,000). Only 2% of adults who lived in a household with a net annual income in excess of £40,000 did not use the Internet.

Table 9.9: Use of the Internet by net annual household income

Column percentages, 2012 data

Adults £0 - £6,000 £6,001 - £10,000 £10,001 - £15,000 £15,001 - £20,000 £20,001 - £25,000 £25,001 - £30,000 £30,001 - £40,000 £40,001+ All
Internet user 63 55 60 67 81 86 94 98 78
Does not use the Internet 37 45 40 33 19 14 6 2 22
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100
Base 150 550 900 790 630 440 540 660 4,660

Household income in the SHS is that of the highest income householder and their partner only. Includes all adults for whom household income is known or has been imputed. Excludes refusals/don't know responses.

A higher proportion of adults living in the 15% most deprived areas of Scotland do not use the Internet (32%) compared to those living in the rest of the country (20%) though this difference appears to be reducing year on year - both a decrease of two percentage points from 2011 (Table 9.10).

Table 9.10: Use of the Internet by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

Column percentages, 2012 data

Adults 15% most deprived Rest of Scotland Scotland
Personal / work 67 79 77
Work only 1 1 1
Does not use 32 20 22
Total 100 100 100
Base 680 4,160 4,840

WHERE AND HOW USERS ACCESS THE INTERNET

The ways in which people access the Internet are becoming increasingly diverse and complex. Since 2007 the SHS has asked adults who personally use the Internet about the location where they access it and which methods they used. Table 9.11 shows that almost all (96%) of adults who use the Internet access it at home. One quarter (25%) said that they accessed the Internet whilst on the move, for example using a mobile phone, which is a big change compared to results from 2011 (14%). Just under a quarter (24%) say the make personal use of the Internet whilst at work. There appears to be a relationship between age and accessing the Internet on the move, with around two-fifths of users aged 16-34 accessing the Internet on the move, decreasing with age down to 3% of users aged 60-74.[67]

Table 9.11: Where adults who use the Internet access it for personal use

Column percentages, 2012 data

Adults who make personal use of the internet
At home 96
Mobile phone/WAP/on the move 25
At work 24
School, college, university, other educational institution 10
At another persons home 10
Public library 5
Internet café or shop 4
Community or voluntary centre/organisation 1
A government/council office 0
Somewhere else 1
Don't know 0
Base 2,250

Columns may add to more than 100% since multiple responses allowed

There appears to be a relationship between household annual net income and where users access the Internet for personal use. Adult Internet users in lower income households are less likely to access the Internet from home or work, but more likely to access it at another person's home and at some kind of educational institution than those in higher income households (Table 9.12). There is a noticeable relationship between income and those accessing the Internet either on the move or at work.

Table 9.12: Where adults who use the Internet access it for personal use by annual net income

Column percentages, 2012 data

Adults who make personal use of the internet £0 - £6,000 £6,001 - £10,000 £10,001 -£15,000 £15,001 - £20,000 £20,001 - £25,000 £25,001 - £30,000 £30,001 - £40,000 £40,001+ All
At home 88 87 90 96 98 99 97 100 96
Mobile phone/WAP/on the move 21 20 23 21 27 23 28 29 25
At work 6 5 9 16 22 25 27 42 24
At another persons home 24 14 13 13 9 10 8 8 10
School, college, university, other educational institution 28 15 12 6 9 8 7 7 9
Public library 8 13 8 7 2 2 2 3 4
Internet café or shop 11 2 6 3 1 4 3 3 3
Community or voluntary centre/organisation - 1 2 3 - 0 - 1 1
Somewhere else - 1 0 1 0 1 1 3 1
A government/council office - 0 0 0 0 - - 1 0
Don't know - - - - - - 0 - 0
Base 50 160 310 320 300 260 330 430 2,170

Columns may add to more than 100% since multiple responses allowed

The SHS also asks about methods used to access the Internet for personal use. Nearly all Internet users (96%) used a personal computer or laptop, although almost half (46%) had used other devices, such as through the television (digital, cable or satellite), telephone (a mobile or Smartphone), or a games console (e.g. PS2 or xBox) (Table 9.13). The use of mobile solutions to access the Internet has increased significantly from 28% in 2011 to either 42% of mobile phones and smartphones and 11% using tablets. Use of alternative methods to access the Internet appears to be more prevalent amongst younger age groups, with 73% of 16-24 year old Internet users using alternative methods, compared to only 3% of Internet users aged 75 and over.

Table 9.13: Which methods are used to access the Internet for personal use by age

Column percentages, 2012 data

Adults who make personal use of the internet 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-59 60-74 75+ All
A personal computer or laptop 93 96 97 97 97 100 96
Other 73 58 50 34 20 3 46
Mobile phone / iPhone / Smartphone 66 55 48 30 14 3 42
A tablet - iPad/Playbook or similar 12 14 14 9 8 0 11
A games console 16 11 9 4 1 - 8
Digital, cable or satellite television 3 5 4 4 3 1 4
Another way - 1 0 0 - - 0
Base 260 390 430 640 440 90 2,250

Columns may add to more than 100% since multiple responses allowed

WHy people do not use the Internet

The SHS asked adults who make no personal use of the Internet the reasons why they did not (Table 9.14). Among the most common responses related to people's preferences or requirements were, 32% saying they did not like using the Internet/computers, 27% saying they did not need to use the Internet/computers and 12% saying there is nothing of interest on the Internet. Not knowing how to use a computer appears to be another common reason for not using the Internet: a quarter of non-users (25%) said that they did not know how to use a computer, and a further 8% said that it would be too difficult to learn to use the Internet. Cost also seems to be an issue, with 12% saying that they could not afford a computer and 2% saying that an Internet connection would be too expensive.

Table 9.14: Reasons why people might not use the Internet (other than work)

Percentages, 2012 data

Adults who make no personal use of the internet
I don't like using the internet or computers 32
I don't need to use the internet or computers 27
I don't know how to use a computer 25
There's nothing of interest to me on the internet 12
I can't afford a computer 12
It would be too difficult to learn how to use the internet 8
I prefer to do things in person rather than use computers 8
Other reason 5
I am concerned about privacy e.g. keeping credit card or personal details safe 4
I have a disability or illness that prevents me 3
Internet connection would be too expensive 2
I am worried about the unsuitable or inappropriate material on the internet 2
Base 960

Columns may add to more than 100% since multiple responses allowed

Use of Local Authority and Government Websites

It is possible to access an increasing number of public services and information online. Online services and information can be quicker and more convenient for people to use, and can be provided at a lower cost than other methods. However, a person's use of websites to access public services is dependent both upon them having access to the Internet and their tendency to access information or services online. The SHS explored the part played by ICT-based public service delivery by asking which, if any, things the respondent had ever used their local council website and (non-specified) government websites for.

Table 9.15 presents the proportions of respondents who have ever used a local council or government website. The figures for all adults help present a fuller picture of the use of these websites, as they take into account the fact that 22% of adults surveyed did not use the Internet (Table 9.7). It should be noted that these figures do not take account whether people have actually needed to access information or use these services in the first place (for example, only car owners require road tax and few people each year need to renew their passport).

Table 9.15: Use (ever) of public services on the Internet

Column percentages, 2012 data

Adults Internet users All adults
Local authority website
Finding information 52 40
Download a form 13 10
Access services like report a fault, renew library books 11 8
Make payment like council tax or parking fine 10 8
Ask a question 8 6
Make a complaint 5 4
Participate in a discussion forum 1 1
Some other purpose 9 7
Any purpose 62 48
None of these 38 29
Do not use the Internet - 23
Base 2,270 3,190
Government website
Apply for road tax 39 31
Apply for or renew my TV licence 20 15
Apply for or renew passport 16 12
Look for information about health services 13 10
Register to vote 11 8
Complete income tax assessment 10 8
Look for information about health or healthy living 9 7
Apply for benefits 6 5
Other 9 7
Any purpose 64 49
None of these 36 28
Do not use the Internet - 23
Base 2,270 3,190

Columns may add to more than 100% since multiple responses were allowed.

When looking at Internet users specifically, less than two-in-five have made no use of either local authority websites (38%) or government websites (36%). Among those who had used local authority websites, the most common reasons were to find information (52%). In contrast, only a very small proportion (1%) had ever participated in a discussion forum using local authority websites.


Contact

Email: Nic Krzyzanowski