Internet User Demographics in Canada: eMarketer

Who is online?

JULY 22, 2008 – Based on active Internet usage in Canada in April 2008, comScore found the online audience evenly divided between males and females, with very slight variations in the age breakdown between the two groups.

Of the 50.2% of Web users who were male, according to comScore, just over one in five (10.2% of all users) were ages 2 to 17. The next-largest group was the 35-to-44-year-olds, representing just under 10% of all male users.

Female Internet users displayed a nearly identical pattern of usage by age distribution.

Overall, Internet use skews high in the youth demographic. Statistics Canada (StatCan) data indicates that in 2007, 93% of people in Canada ages 16 to 34 went online, while the access rate among those ages 65 and older was only 29%.

This is roughly the same pattern seen in comScore data, where Internet users in Canada ages 2 to 17 outnumber the 65 and older age group by more than 3-to-1, and those ages 18 to 24 outnumber online seniors by more than 2-to-1.

Adults and teens seem to use the Internet rather differently, as well.

An online survey by Ipsos Reid found that Internet users in Canada ages 12 to 17 spent an average of 13 hours per week online in early 2008 (compared with 19 hours for adults). That number has not increased since Ipsos began measuring online teen behavior in 2004.

In this study, only 37% of the teens said that using the Internet was an important part of their day, while 51% of the adults agreed with the same statement.

Several factors may account for the relatively little time teens spent online. One is the significant number of daytime hours devoted to school during most of the year. Another is the influence of parents�54% of online teens surveyed said their parents placed time limits on their Web use.

Higher levels of education and income also correlate with Internet use. Almost 93% of individuals in Canada with a university degree were online in 2007, according to StatCan�more than twice the percentage of people over 16 who had not finished high school.

Similarly, 91% of people in households earning more than C$95,000 ($88,785) used the Internet in 2007. In homes with less than C$24,000 ($22,430) in income, just 47% were online.

Since 2005, these pronounced gaps in Internet usage have closed slightly, but it is likely to be many years before those with lower education and income levels catch up with their more-educated and higher-income neighbors.

Get the latest perspective on this speedy Internet population. Read eMarketer’s Canada Internet: Users and Usage report.

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