Over 8 million adults in the UK have never used the Internet, representing 16.3 percent of the adult population.

The UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports today that 42 million adults in the UK had used the Internet by the end of 2011 Q4. This represents 83.5 per cent of the adult population.

8.20 million adults had never used the Internet – a decrease of 224,000 adults who had never used it since 2011 Q3, following a decrease of 299,000 between Q2 and Q3.

There were 1.49 million more women than men who had never used the Internet; 4.85 million women compared with 3.36 million men.

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The ONS report ‘Internet Access Quarterly Update 2011 Q4’ looks at estimates derived from the Labour Force Survey. It states that Internet use is linked to various socio-economic and demographic characteristics, such as age, disability, location and earnings.

Adults who were less likely to have used the Internet included the over 65s, the widowed and those with a disability.

Of those adults in employment whose gross weekly pay was less than £200 per week, 8.1 per cent had not used the Internet. The proportion of Internet non-users declines with each successively higher weekly pay band up to those paid £800 to £899 where there were no Internet non-users.

As in previous quarters, the majority of people in all age groups, apart from those aged 75 or more, had used the Internet.

The largest proportion of Internet users was in the youngest age group (those

aged 16 to 24), at 98.7 percent. This represents 7.18 million people.

There were decreases in the numbers of non-users in all age groups. The largest decrease was among those aged 55 to 64, where there were 86,000 fewer non-users by 2011 Q4, compared with Q3, with the percentage of non-users in this age group decreasing from 19.8 percent to 18.7 percent.

There were significant decreases in the other age groups, including a drop of 55,000 among those aged 75 and over.

By 2011 Q4, there were 21.15 million male and 20.84 million female Internet users. Men were more likely to have used the Internet than women, with 86.1 per cent of men having used it compared with 81.0 per cent of women.

By 2011 Q4, there were 3.98 million disabled adults who had never used the Internet. This represents 34.5 per cent of those who were disabled and just under half of the 8.20 million who had never used it.

By 2011 Q4, there was a decrease of 276,000 disabled Internet non-users, compared with Q3. Of those adults who reported no disability, 10.9 per cent had never used the Internet.