The Oxford Internet Surveys (OxIS) are core to the research of the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) – a leading world centre for the multidisciplinary study of the Internet and society. The OII is a department within the Social Sciences Division of the University of Oxford, focusing on Internet-related research and teaching, and on informing policy and practice.I haven't read the whole report yet, but there are some interesting tidbits I've spotted from the executive summary:
The Internet in Britain, launched by the Oxford Internet Institute in 2003, OxIS has become an authoritative source of information about Internet access, use and attitudes – and the difference this makes for everyday life – in Britain. Areas covered include: digital and social inclusion and exclusion; regulation and governance of the Internet; privacy, trust and risk concerns; and uses of the Internet, including social networking, entertainment and online education.
- Two thirds of Britons use the Internet and access it at home in 2007.
- The digital divide continues to exist in 2007. Men, students, higher educated and higher income individuals are all more likely to use the Internet than women, retired, disabled, lower educated and lower income individuals.
- The great majority of those with home access use a broadband connection.
- The percentage of ex-users (people who used the Internet before but stopped using it) has remained the same at 5%.
- The number of non-users (people who have never used the Internet) has decreased to a quarter of the population in 2007.
- Internet users tend to consider themselves more extroverted and social than do non-users.
- While Internet use in certain lifestage groups, such as students and people in employment, has gone up, in the retired group it has remained the same over the years at around a third of retired people.
- The Internet is the first port of call for the great majority of Internet users when trying to learn about something new – more important than family members, colleagues or libraries.
- Users have changed their information search patterns. In 2007, almost two thirds of users depended primarily on search engines to find information: up from one fifth in 2005.
- According to a quarter of Internet users, the time they spend watching TV is reduced due to their use of the Internet.
- Emailing remains the most popular Internet activity.
- Instant messaging is another popular communication activity.
- Less than one fifth of users maintain a social networking profile or presence on the Internet.
- Gender differences persist, although they are not large. Men use the Internet more than women, especially for entertainment and content production. Women tend to look for health information online more than men do, and are more likely to use the Internet to help their children.
- Lifestage is associated with Internet use. Students are the most active users of online entertainment and social networking sites. Employed users are frequent users of financial services and information seeking sites. Retired users are less active in all areas, with the exception of civic participation and financial services sites.