LONDON: The online population is continuing to increase in size in the UK, according to new figures from Kantar Media, the research firm.

Some 37 million consumers in the country accessed the internet during the first quarter of 2010, an expansion of nearly 2.5 million people year-on-year.

This was also an increase of 5.9% from the closing three months of 2009, indicating the market has still not reached absolute maturity.

Overall, 35.7 million individuals logged on from home, an uptick of 8.3%, compared with a jump of 3.1% among employees doing so at work and 7.4% for academic users.

The number of females that surfed the net from January to March climbed by 10% when measured against Q1 2009, an increase of 1.67 million women in all.

Their male counterparts registered a more modest rise of just under one million, meaning the gender balance of the UK's internet audience is now roughly evenly divided.

The growth recorded by 15–24 year olds fell from 8.2% in Q1 2009 to 2.4% in Q1 2010, with 25–64 year olds posting an uptick of 7.8% in the second of these two periods.

Netizens over 65 years old generated the most substantial surge in this timeframe, up by 21.2%, or by 600,000 people, from 12 months previously.

By social demographic, members of the high income AB category saw growth of 4.2%, a total stood at 13.4% for their counterparts in the DE cohort.

Data sourced from Mediatel; additional content by Warc staff