Youth spend 39 hours a month online

03 August 2009

NEW YORK: Young consumers spend 39 hours a month using the internet, reaching a peak of 70 hours over this period in Brazil, a study by Harris Interactive, the research firm, across 12 different markets worldwide shows.

The Norton Online Living Report was based on interviews with 6,427 adults, including 1,297 parents of children aged between eight and 17 years old, as well as 2,614 young people.

Countries included in the poll were Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Sweden, the UK and US.

On average, the parents taking part in the survey thought children registered 21 hours surfing the web each month, 18 hours below the actual amount.

The youth sample from Brazil spent 70 hours online a month, with their peers in Sweden on 59 hours, compared with the totals of 56 hours and 46 hours parents in these nations predicted.

Young people in the US recorded 42 hours on the web each month, growing to 44 hours in the UK, Canada and France, and 49 hours in Australia.

The comparative figure was 31 hours in Japan, 33 hours in China, 34 hours in India and Germany, and 40 hours in Italy.

Parents in the UK, US and Australia also underestimated the duration of the online activity of 8–17 year olds in their home country by more than half.

Some 67% of under-18s in America said they were mainly "wasting their time" when they were on the web, a figure that rose to 68% in Canada, the two highest-scoring countries on this measure.

At the other end of the spectrum, 84% of Chinese young people were of the opinion that the time during which they accessed the internet contributed to "learning valuable skills", with three-quarters of their counterparts in India and Italy arguing the same.

More than 80% of this group in China and Brazil also stated that they "could not live without the internet", with over seven out of ten of their fellows in India agreeing with this proposition.

By contrast, just 49% of American and Japanese participants in the same age range saw the web as being similarly indispensable, reaching a low of 45% in Sweden.

Data sourced from Harris Interactive; additional content by WARC staff