from home took another big jump in 2001, but the rate of growth is
easing off, according to the Household Internet Use Survey (HIUS).
More than 5.8 million households, or 49%
of all 12 million households, had at least one member that regularly
used the Internet from home in 2001, up 1.1 million (+23%) from 2000.
This was somewhat less than the gain of 1.4 million (+42%)
from 1999 to 2000.
In 2001, 7.2 million households had at
least one member who used the Internet regularly, either from home,
work, school, a public library or other locations. This group
represented 60% of all households, up from 51% in 2000.
Seven in 10 regular-use households went
online daily from home
Households accessed the Internet as
frequently in 2001 as they did in 2000. In 2001, 73% reported that
someone in the household went online from home at least once a day on
average, up from 71% the year before. In addition, the number of
households that reported using the Internet at least seven times a week
from home grew by 900,000 (+27%) in 2001.
Three out of five households reported
spending 20 or more hours each month surfing the World Wide Web. The
number of households that used the Internet 20 hours or more each month
from home grew by about 723,000 (+25%).
Internet used from home as a tool for
Almost half (2.75 million) of the
regular users from home had at least one household member in 2001 who
used the Internet as a tool for formal education or training. The bulk
of this group went online to do research for projects or assignments, or
to solve academic problems.
Other educational uses included
communicating with teachers and colleagues and submitting assignments,
as well as communicating with administration or verifying marks. Of the
households that used the Internet for formal education and training,
about 12% reported that at least one household member had taken an
online correspondence course or used the Internet for self-directed
learning in 2001.
Note to readers
The 2001 Household Internet Use
Survey (HIUS) was conducted as a sub-sample of the Labour Force
Survey (LFS). The LFS is a monthly household survey, the sample of
which is representative of the civilian, non-institutionalized
population aged 15 or older in the 10 provinces.
The respondent provides a proxy
response to questions for all members of the household. Of
households indicating that they regularly use the Internet,
approximately 85% of the individuals answering the survey for their
household were one of the members that regularly used from various
locations. Regular-use households are those that responded "yes" to
the question: "In a typical month, does anyone in the household use
the Internet from any location?"
The HIUS collected information on
the household as a whole. In total, 44,319 households were eligible
for the HIUS and 34,158, or 77.1%, responded. The data gathered in
January 2002 covered household Internet use in the 2001 calendar
Since 1997, the survey has shown the
increased regular use from home by the vast majority of households for
e-mail and general browsing. This trend continued in 2001.
A greater number of households that
reported regular home use turned to the Internet as a source of
information, with over half accessing news sites or searching for
government information online. Three in five households used the
Internet as a source for medical or health-related information.
Half of the regular home users had a
household member who played games. As well, household members
increasingly turned to the Internet to plan vacations from home.
One-quarter of households use the
Internet for work-related business
In 2001, about one-quarter of households
that reported regular home use indicated that at least one member used
the Internet for work-related business. This was the case for
nearly 1.5 million households, up from just over 1 million in 2000.
About 900,000 households reported that
at least one household member regularly used the Internet at home for
Almost one-fifth of regular home use
in 2001 was by employees taking advantage of the Internet to work
scheduled hours at home.
Strong growth of Internet connection by
The HIUS indicated strong growth in
Internet connections by cable from home since 2000.
In 2001, an estimated 30% of households,
or 1.75 million, accessed the Internet regularly from home by means of a
cable connection. The majority of the remaining households (more
than 4 million) connected using a telephone line.
Internet use highest in Alberta and
All provinces showed increased Internet
use from each of the various locations of regular access: home, work,
school, public library and other locations, referred to as a whole as
Alberta and British Columbia tied for
first place, with 65% of their households accessing the Internet from
any location in 2001.
However, Quebec, Ontario and British
Columbia recorded the highest rates of growth for use from any location.
Ontario joined British Columbia and
Alberta as one of the provinces with the highest rates of regular use
from any location and from home. These three provinces surpassed the
national average for regular use from any location (60%) and regular
home use (49%).
Quebec and Prince Edward Island had the
highest growth rates for regular access from home. For the fifth
straight year, however, British Columbia had the highest proportion of
households regularly accessing the Internet from home.
Rates of Internet use from any location
still vary across family types
Rates of Internet use still varied
substantially across family types, and the key factor was the presence
of children. Single-family households with unmarried children under the
age of 18 had the highest rate of Internet use from any location last
year, about 80%. This proportion was double the level of 38% in 1997.
In contrast, about 56% of single-family
households in which there were no children used the Internet, up
from 27% in 1997.
Regular Internet use increased for all
income groups, and the gains during the past five years have been
substantial. In 2001, 87% of the one-quarter of households in the
highest income bracket used the Internet from one location or another,
up from 58% in 1997.
In contrast, only 32% of the one-quarter
of households with the lowest income level regularly used the Internet
in 2001. Still, this was almost triple the rate of 12% in 1997.