14 percent of UK adults (7.1 million) have never used the Internet, with a staggering two thirds of all people aged 75 and over ignorant of all things online.

The UK’s Office for National Statistics, in its “Internet Access Quarterly Update, Q2 2013” report, states that the 3.2 million non-users aged 75 years and over made up 45 percent of the 7.1 million people who had never used the Internet at in the second quarter (Q2) of 2013. See Broadband advice, speed test and best prices.

At Q2 2013, there were 43.6 million adults in the UK who had ever used the Internet, representing 86 percent of the adult population. Only 1.5 million older UK citizens (75+) had used the Internet.

Just four in every ten men and three in every ten women aged 75+ have used the Internet.

Over all ages ranges men (88%) were more likely to be Internet users than women (84%).

By region, London and the South East had the highest proportion of Internet users (89%) and Northern Ireland the lowest (79%).

UK Internet use by age

Age is a key factor as to whether an individual has used the Internet. Almost all adults aged 16 to 24 years (99%) had ever used the Internet.

In contrast, only 33 percent of adults aged 75 years and over had ever used the Internet, representing 1.5 million people.

The 7.1 million adults who had never used the Internet represented 14 percent of the adult population.

There was a decrease, since Q1 2013, of 23,000 adults (0.3%) who had never used the Internet and a decrease of 748,000 adults (10%) compared with a year earlier (Q2 2012).

Since the survey began (Q1 2011) the number of Internet users has increased by 2.9 million (7%), from 40.8 million.

Internet users by age. Office for National Statistics

Above. Internet users by age Source: Office for National Statistics


UK Internet use by sex

There were 21.9 million male and 21.8 million female Internet users. Men were more likely to have used the Internet than women, with 88 percent of men having ever used the Internet compared to 84 percent of women.

There were 1.2 million more women than men who had never used the Internet; 4.1 million women compared with 2.9 million men.

These trends have been similar since the first quarterly survey was undertaken at Q1 2011.

In the 12 months since Q2 2012, the proportion of people who have ever used the Internet has increased by 1.4 percentage points for men and 1.8 percentage points for women.

Whereas Internet non-use was relatively similar for males and females aged 16 to 64 years, Internet non-use differed for adults aged 65 years and over. For example, whereas 28% of males aged 65 to 74 years had never used the Internet, the corresponding total for females was

36%, a difference of 8 percentage points.

This difference grows to 14 percentage points for males and females aged 75 years and over.

ONS UK non-Internet users gender 2013 statistics  

Above. Internet users by gender. Source: Office for National Statistics


UK Internet use by region

London and the South East were the regions with the highest proportion of Internet use with 89 percent of adults reporting that they had used the Internet.

Northern Ireland had the lowest proportion of Internet users, at 79 percent.

While there is sampling variability around these estimates, the areas with the highest proportion

of Internet use at Q2 2013 were Buckinghamshire, Monmouthshire and Newport, Outer London – South and Surrey, all at 92 percent.

Internet users by region Office for National Statistics

Above. Internet users by region. Source: Office for National Statistics


UK Internet use by earnings

Of those adults in employment whose gross weekly pay was less than £200 per week, 6 percent (315,000) had never used the Internet. Internet use has almost reached full coverage for those earning in excess of £500 a week, with Internet use at 99 percent or above for all adults with weekly pay rates above this level.

Internet use has, however, increased over time for those individuals earning less than £200 per week. For example at Q2 2011, approximately 9 percent (511,000) had never used the Internet, this compares with 6 percent (315,000) at Q2 2013.


UK Internet use by disability

Individuals with a disability are approximately four times more likely to have never used the Internet than individuals without a disability.

At Q2 2013, there were 3.8 million disabled adults, as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), who had never used the Internet.

This represents 33 percent of those who were disabled and over half (54%) of the 7.1 million adults who had never used the Internet.

Of those adults who reported no disability or a work limiting disability, 9% (3.3 million adults) had never used the Internet.

ONS UK non-Internet users 2013 statistics  

Internet non-users. Source: Office for National Statistics