2011 Canadian Internet Usage Statistics

date of publication February 24, 2012

Last October 2011, results from the Canadian Internet Use Survey or CIUS had been officially released. This survey was conducted for various purposes:

  • Enable the government to better determine the types of programs and policies it needs to implement to improve Internet access as well as electronic commerce.
  • Aid the OECD or the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in the various relevant comparative or benchmarking studies they conduct.
  • Provide essential data to universities as required by the Data Liberation Initiative.
  • Provide media with essential references for their news reports.
  • Enhance results of market research conducted by private companies as well as improve their knowledge and understanding of Internet activities and consequently come up with relevant policies for it.

Internet Usage in Canada

The latest CIUS results show that nearly 80% of Canadian households enjoyed Internet access. More than half of them as well made use of more than 1 kind of device, equipment, or gadget in order to go online.

Location-wise, 81% of census metropolitan households had Internet access. Census agglomeration residents ranked second place with 76% and lastly, only 71% of those who lived outside the aforementioned areas enjoyed Internet access. To be more specific, the top cities with the highest number of Internet connections on a per household basis include Ontario at 81%, Alberta at 83%, and lastly British Columbia at 84%.

Internet Usage and Income per Household

Results from the CIUS also revealed that 97% of households that had a cumulative gross income of at least $87,000 enjoyed Internet access. This figure represented households that belong to Canada’s highest income quartile. Only 54% of those belonging to the opposite end of the spectrum are, however, able to enjoy similar Internet access. This particular quartile had a cumulative gross income of $30,000 or even lower.

Internet Usage and Household Size

The 2011 CIUS results show that only 58% of single-person households had the means to go online. This is much lower compared to the 93% of Internet-capable households that had at least three members and with at least 1 of those members aged below 18 years old.

Internet Usage Based on Device

  • 71% of households made use of desktop computers to access the Internet
  • 64% of Canadian households also relied on laptop computers to go online
  • Only a little over 1/3 of Canadian households or approximately 35% owned wireless handheld devices that are capable of accessing the Internet
  • Only 1/5 of the household population (20%) made use of gaming consoles to go online

Moreover, the study showed that more than half of Internet-capable households relied on more than one device to go online. 96% of these households also described their connection as high-speed.

What Non-Internet Users Have to Say

Finally, of the 21% of households that had no current access to the Internet, more than half or 56% of them also revealed they had no interest or had no pressing need to go online.

20% of these households cited cost of equipment or service as the reason for their inability to access the Internet. In relation to this, 24% of those in the lowest income quartile cited the same reason for not being able to go online.

15% attributed their lack of Internet connection due to having no device capable of doing so. Lastly, 12% of these households cited insufficient knowledge, skill, and confidence as the reason why they do not bother going online.

Posted under: Interesting, Online Trends

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