Internet usage demographics in the United Kingdom (UK) - statistics & facts

Internet penetration in the United Kingdom is nearing its peak. Standing at an impressive 95.5 percent in 2020, it is forecast to reach 97.5 percent by 2022 and remain at this figure for at least the next three years. The UK has the second highest number of internet users in Europe with 63.5 million, second only to Germany with 79 million. Unsurprisingly, internet use in the UK has featured more prevalently among those below 64 years of age. Here, 100 percent of all households with children as well as those with two adults had internet access, according to 2019 figures.

Online activities by demographic

E-mail communication was the most widespread online activity across all age groups in Great Britain in 2020, with the exception of 16 to 24-year-olds. Here, the majority spent their time online on social networks such as Facebook and Instagram. When it came to activity by gender, men preferred watching video content, while women leaned towards consuming health and nutrition information. Despite this, the most widely performed online activities were evenly balanced between both genders. This included sending and receiving e-mails, searching for information and online banking. Differences in internet use were, however, more apparent socioeconomically. In 2020, over 45 percent of those in the AB category used the internet broadly (carrying out a greater variety of activities), while only 22 percent of those in the DE social grade did so.

Gen Z and millennials choose mobile

Mobile internet use is significantly higher among all age groups in the UK, compared to desktop. This was particularly notable among young adults between 18 and 24 years of age, whose daily time spent connected via mobile was seven times what they spent via desktop. With the ever-growing popularity of tablets and smartphones, it is unlikely that this will change any time soon. Gen Z and millennials have always been the main users of mobile internet in the UK, with 16 to 23-year-olds accessing the internet via mobile in 2019.

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Internet usage demographics in the United Kingdom (UK)

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Internet usage by age

Internet usage by gender

Mobile internet use


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