According to the British Office for National Statistics (ONS), after a survey of 40,000 UK households and 100,000 individuals released earlier this year about how Internet use is correlated to socio-demographic characteristics, the main points are as follows:

1.- 87,9% of adults (45,9 million) had recently used the internet (last 3 months) vs 86,2% in 2015.
2.- 10,2% (5,3 million) had never used the internet compared with 11,4% in 2015.
3.- Adults aged 16-24 were recent users (99,2%), 25-34 (98,9%) vs 38,7% of adults aged +75.
4.- 89,4% of men (22,8 million) and 86,4% of women (23,1 million) were recent internet users, up from 87,9% and 84,6% in 2015.
5.- Use of the internet by women aged 75 and over increased by 169% from 2011.
6.- 25% of disabled adults had never used the internet in 2016 (27,4% in 2015).
7.- Inactive adults who never used the internet or who used the internet more than 3 months ago decreased by 13,3% since 2011.
8.- Almost all adults aged 16-24 access the internet “on the go”, compared with only 29% of those aged +65 (2015).
9.- Social networks used by 61% of adults, and 79% of those do it every day/almost every day (2015).
10.- 76% of adults in 2015 bought goods and/or services online (compared with 53% in 2008).
11.- In 2015, 86% of households in Great Britain (22,5 million) had internet access, 30% more than 10 years ago.

UK internet usersFrom this data we can draw a few conclusions:

  • Internet usage has increased in all age groups, especially in the senior citizens, in the last few years.
  • The majority of adults access the internet using mobile devices, except the older ones. This means that digital transformation must be adapted to smartphones and tablets in order to be successful.
  • There is still 1 out of 10 of the population with no internet usage. It is a minority of people, but it is important not to forget this.
  • Social Media is not used by everyone, but women and younger adults used them more often. This is relevant so we develop our communication campaigns taking into account all segments of the population, and tailor our messages to the audience and the media used, too.
  • Most of the British (+76%) use the internet to shop online, that’s 20% higher that the EU average. But there’s still margin for improvement, but the online competition is fierce.

When developing a digital strategy, businesses must consider who and when is on the internet. Who is their target audience, and how to get their message across to reach them. It is essential to find the right person/media to deliver a digital campaign and the key message. It is not an easy task, but it is effective.


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