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UK adults most likely in EU to buy online

In 2009, a higher percentage of UK adults bought or ordered goods and services over the Internet in the previous 12 months than in any other EU country, according to Eurostat figures highlighted in a chapter of Social Trends published today by the Office for National Statistics.


UK adults most likely in EU to buy online

Two thirds (66 per cent) of those aged 16–74 had bought goods or services online in the UK, compared with 56 per cent in Germany, 45 per cent in France and an EU-27 average of just 37 per cent.

The chapter also shows the rise in popularity of Internet-based reading material for children. National Literacy Trust figures show that in England in 2007, websites were the second most popular source of reading material outside school for boys aged 9 to 14, at 58 per cent. For girls in the same age group, emails were the second most common type of reading material, at 59 per cent.

The proportion of people reading a national daily newspaper has been declining over the past three decades. National Readership Survey figures show that in the 12 months to June 2009, less than half (42 per cent) of all people aged 15 and over in Great Britain read a national daily newspaper, compared with 72 per cent of people in the 12 months to June 1978. In 2009, The Sun was the most commonly read newspaper with a readership of 16 per cent.

The chapter suggests the recent decline in newspaper readership may be due to the advent of free newspapers such as the Metro, which is now read by 7 per cent of the adult population in Great Britain, as well as the increased availability of national and local news on the television, the radio and online. News was the most popular type of television programme viewed in England in 2007/08, watched by 72 per cent of adults aged 16 and over.

Social Trends also reports the rise in the take-up of digital television. In 2009, Ofcom reported that 89 per cent of UK households had a digital television service, up from 16 per cent in 2000. Digital terrestrial is the most popular form of digital television service, with just over 38 per cent of households in 2009 using this service.

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