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BizReport : Research archives : November 24, 2008

Britain top in youth Internet access survey

Youngsters around the world are logging on to the Internet in increasing numbers, according to the World Internet Report by the Center for the Digital Future, with some country's kids being afforded better access than others.

by Helen Leggatt

In the U.K, all children aged 12 to 14 years of age have access to the Internet, according to the survey of more than 25,000 people in 13 countries around the globe, including North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

In the wake of the U.K.'s 100% Internet access rate comes Israel, the Czech Republic, Macao and Canada all with impressive rates of 95% and above.

However the U.S. failed to reach 90%, clocking in at 88%, just above Hungary and Singapore with 70%.

Sweden, New Zealand and Canada had the highest Internet usage for users over the age of 18, with the U.S. trailing.

A recent study on U.S. teens found that the Internet plays an important role in the development of teen social and technical skills, and not, as it is often perceived, a waste of time.

"There are myths about kids spending time online - that it is dangerous or making them lazy," said Mizuko Ito, University of California, Irvine researcher and the report's lead author.

"But we found that spending time online is essential for young people to pick up the social and technical skills they need to be competent citizens in the digital age."

Tags: Internet access, kids, social skills, technical skills, teens, usage, youth

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