More people using internet across the East Riding

More people than ever were regular internet users in the East Riding in the months leading up to the coronavirus pandemic, new figures show.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 8:07 am
93.2% of adults surveyed by the ONS between January and March 2020 had been online in the previous three months. Photo: PA Images

As family Zoom calls, home working and internet shopping have become a larger part of the country’s day-to-day lives, over 49 million people are now online across the UK, with a national rise fuelled by a spike in the number of older people using the web.

In the East Riding 93.2% of adults surveyed by the Office for National Statistics between January and March 2020 had been online in the previous three months – an estimated 261,000 residents.

That was up from 85.2% in 2019, and higher than the average across the UK, where 92.1% of over-16s regularly use the internet.

It was also the largest proportion reported since records began in 2011, when 80.1% of adults in the East Riding were regularly on the internet.

Although internet use has increased across the UK, 3.4 million people surveyed by the ONS in 2020 said they had never used the web – and more than 60% of them were aged 75 and over.

But the number of older people regularly using the internet is rising rapidly, closing the age gap with younger users.

Last year, 54% of over-75s nationally said they had used the internet in the last three months – up from 47% the year before, and a huge leap from 20% in 2011.

The ONS suggested that the sharp rise in use among older people last year could be partly related to the effects of the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, as millions of people began to head online to stay in touch with friends and family.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said the 2 million over-75s still offline are at risk of being excluded from an “increasingly digital world”.

Different ONS data shows 89% of adults across the UK used the internet daily or nearly every day in 2020, up from 35% in 2006, when records began.

Internet banking, sending and receiving emails and finding information about goods and services are the most common reasons for internet use, the data revealed.