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Weekly hours of media consumption by children in the UK 2018, by media

How much time do children spend consuming media every week in the UK? Around 13 hours of TV-watching, almost 11 hours of gaming, 14.4 hours on a mobile phone, and 15.3 hours on the internet. As young children, between the ages of three and seven, most media time is spent in front of the television. Then, as children grow up, they start spending more and more time on their phones and on the internet. Once children reach their early teenage years, they spend over 20 hours a week online.

Internet replaces books

As the amount of time children spend on the internet increases, the share of children regularly reading decreases. According to a 2017 survey in the UK, 42 percent of children aged 5 to 7 were regularly reading books, magazines, or comics. In the 12 to 15 age category, this dropped to 30 percent. Although, this was an increase on the previous year. 

Most consumed media

Media consumption generally in the United Kingdom is high. The media that is most commonly used by adults is the mobile phone, which 96 percent of respondents to a 2018 survey said they used. Second to the mobile was the TV with 94 percent.

Time spent consuming media per week among children in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2018, by media

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Release date

January 2019


United Kingdom

Survey time period


Age group

3-15 years

Special properties

Parents of children aged 3-7 and children aged 8-15 who use each medium

Method of interview

Face-to-face interview

Supplementary notes

Number of respondents not indicated.
The source indicates: "Responses are taken from the child aged 8-11 or 12-15 rather than the parent."
Regarding the survey question the source indicates: "How many hours would you say he/ she spends [using medium] on a typical school day/ on a weekend day?"

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

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