Internet use

Published

Last updated 4 March 2021 - see all updates

1. Main facts and figures

  • in 2019, 90.8% of people aged 16 and over had used the internet in the 3 months prior to being surveyed (making them ‘recent internet users’)
  • the Indian and White ethnic groups had the lowest percentages of recent internet users (at 90.4% and 90.5%) and the Chinese ethnic group had the highest (98.6%)
  • the largest regional difference in internet use between ethnic groups was amongst Asian people in the West Midlands (86.8%) and the South East (97.4%)

2. Things you need to know

What the data measures

The data measures the percentage of people aged 16 or older in the UK who are recent internet users (meaning they have used the internet in the last 3 months).

Percentages are rounded to 1 decimal place.

The ethnic groups used in the data

Data is aggregated for the Black, Mixed, White and Other ethnic groups, which means estimates are shown for these groups as a whole. This is because the number of people surveyed was too small to make reliable conclusions about all of the 18 ethnic groups used in the 2011 Census.

Data is shown separately for the 5 different Asian ethnic groups.

In the analyses by area and age group, estimates are shown for 4 ethnic groups:

  • Asian
  • Black
  • White
  • Other (including Mixed)

This is to make sure that sample sizes are big enough to be able to make reliable generalisations.

Methodology

Read the detailed methodology document for the data on this page.

The figures on this page are based on survey data. Find out more about:

In the data file

See Download the data for confidence intervals for each ethnic group. Find out more about how confidence intervals are used to determine how reliable estimates are.

3. By ethnicity

Percentage and number of people aged 16 and over who had used the internet in the past 3 months, by ethnicity
Ethnicity % estimated number (thousands)
All 90.8 48,098
Bangladeshi 91.9 354
Chinese 98.6 265
Indian 90.4 1,077
Pakistani 91.1 767
Asian other 95.6 620
Black 92.8 1,376
Mixed 96.0 547
White 90.5 42,296
Other 94.5 796

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Internet use By ethnicity Summary

This data shows that:

  • 98.6% of people from the Chinese ethnic group were recent internet users, the highest percentage of any ethnic group
  • 90.5% of people in the White ethnic group and 90.4% of people from the Indian ethnic group were recent internet users, the lowest percentages of any ethnic group

4. By ethnicity and area

Percentage and number of people aged 16 and over who had used the internet in the past 3 months, by ethnicity and area
All Asian Black White Other including Mixed
Geography All % All Number (thousands) Asian % Asian Number (thousands) Black % Black Number (thousands) White % White Number (thousands) Other inc Mixed % Other inc Mixed Number (thousands)
UK 90.8 48,098 92.4 3,083 92.8 1,376 90.5 42,296 95.1 1,343
North East 87.7 1,871 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 87.7 1,789 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable
North West 90.0 5,198 89.9 295 97.6 92 89.8 4,694 94.6 117
Yorkshire and the Humber 89.8 3,908 89.0 225 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 89.6 3,542 97.8 94
East Midlands 89.9 3,439 88.3 215 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 89.9 3,092 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable
West Midlands 88.7 4,125 86.8 424 96.1 170 88.4 3,419 94.5 112
East of England 92.0 4,552 95.1 186 100.0 80 91.6 4,204 98.8 82
London 93.0 6,571 94.7 1,118 88.9 701 93.3 4,195 93.3 557
South East 93.0 6,755 97.4 373 99.2 124 92.4 6,112 99.5 146
South West 92.3 4,165 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 92.0 4,014 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable
Wales 89.6 2,264 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 89.5 2,171 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable
Scotland 89.6 3,979 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 89.2 3,825 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable
Northern Ireland 86.7 1,271 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 86.5 1,239 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and area’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and area’ (CSV)

Summary of Internet use By ethnicity and area Summary

This data shows that:

  • in London, recent internet use was broadly similar for Asian, White and Other ethnic groups, ranging from 93.3% to 94.7%, with a lower percentage of users in Black ethnic groups (88.9%)
  • Asian people in the South East were more likely than Asian people in West Midlands to have used the internet recently (97.4% compared to 86.8%)
  • for some ethnic groups, regions and countries (particularly Northern Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the South West and the North East) the number of respondents was too low to draw firm conclusions

5. By ethnicity and age group

Percentage and number of people aged 16 and over who had used the internet in the past 3 months, by ethnicity and age group
All Asian Black White Other including Mixed
Age Bracket All % All Number (thousands) Asian % Asian Number (thousands) Black % Black Number (thousands) White % White Number (thousands) Other inc Mixed % Other inc Mixed Number (thousands)
16-24 99.2 6,873 99.4 602 98.5 270 99.2 5,681 99.1 321
25-34 99.4 8,889 99.1 735 99.6 303 99.4 7,495 99.2 357
35-44 98.9 8,238 98.4 864 98.0 290 99.1 6,767 96.4 317
45-54 97.5 8,801 94.3 510 96.0 271 97.9 7,811 93.0 209
55-64 93.2 7,490 83.6 231 94.5 179 93.5 6,976 95.2 105
65-74 83.2 5,336 64.8 99 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 83.8 5,176 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable
75+ 46.8 2,471 29.9 42 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable 47.6 2,391 withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable withheld because a small sample size makes it unreliable

Download table data for ‘By ethnicity and age group’ (CSV) Source data for ‘By ethnicity and age group’ (CSV)

Summary of Internet use By ethnicity and age group Summary

This data shows that:

  • within every ethnic group, at least 98.5% of people aged 16 to 24 years old were recent internet users

  • amongst adults aged between 16 and 34, the percentage of recent internet users was broadly the same across ethnic groups

  • Asian people were less likely to be recent internet users than other ethnic groups in the 55 to 64 age group (at 83.6%)

  • Asian people were also less likely to be recent internet users than White ethnic groups in the 65 to 74 and 75+ age groups (at 64.8% and 29.9%)

6. Data sources

Source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics

Publisher

Office for National Statistics

Publication frequency

Yearly

Purpose of data source

The primary purpose of the Labour Force Survey (LFS) is to provide good quality estimates each month for various aspects of the labour market. The LFS also allows users to see how these labour market measures change over time. The LFS also collects data on internet use.

7. Download the data

Internet users in the UK - Spreadsheet (csv) 43 KB

This file contains the following: measure, ethnicity, year, region, value, estimated number, confidence intervals (upper and lower bounds)