Time children spent gaming weekly in the United Kingdom (UK) 2013-2018, by age

Children in the United Kingdom are spending more and more time gaming. The number of hours that children aged between 12 and 15 played games, either at home or elsewhere, has increased to almost 14 per week, which is roughly 3 hours more than they were spending in 2013. It’s not just young teenagers that are spending more time gaming. In all age categories from 3 years up to 15 years, the amount of time spent gaming per week increased on the previous year.

Smartphone gaming

With the rise of smartphone ownership among children in the UK, the opportunity for gaming on the go has also increased. However, the number of children who have access to games consoles at home has actually decreased over recent years. This would suggest that more gaming is being done on handheld devices like smartphones and tablets, both inside and outside the home.

Are parents content with gaming content?

Should parents be concerned about the amount of time their children spend gaming? Letting children spend time playing games can give parents precious moments of relief (a child engrossed in their favorite game can’t run around causing mischief), but the content of these games might be unsuitable for some children.

Hours children spent gaming weekly in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2013 to 2018, by age group

Age group3-4 years5-7 years8-11 years12-15 years
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Release date

January 2019


United Kingdom

Survey time period

2013 to 2018

Age group

3-15 years

Special properties

parents of children aged 3-7 whose child plays games at home or elsewhere and children aged 8-15 who play games at home or elsewhere

Method of interview

Face-to-face interview

Supplementary notes

Sample size not specified.
In 2013, the response for 12-15 was taken from the child and the parent for 5-7s and 8-11s. In 2009-2013 parents/children were asked about use at home whereas in 2014-2016 they were asked about use at home or elsewhere.
Prompt: "How many hours would you say he/ she spends playing these games on a typical school day/ on a weekend day?"(spontaneous question, single coded)

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Statistics on "Children and media in the United Kingdom (UK)"

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