Notes on the data: Internet access

Internet access from a private dwelling with an Aboriginal household, including for Aboriginal households with children, 2016

 

Policy context:  A household can be considered to be disadvantaged if it lacks the resources to participate fully in society [1]. Access to the outside world, through the Internet provides a means of communicating with friends and family, as well as services, employers and schools, thereby increasing educational, employment and other opportunities, including social interaction [2].

Socioeconomic characteristics of households continue to influence the rate of computer and Internet connectivity across Australia. Households which do not have children under 15 years, those that are located in non-metropolitan or regional areas of Australia and/or have lower household incomes are less likely to have a computer and/or access to the Internet [2]. These socioeconomic factors also influence the take-up rate of broadband access (as opposed to dial-up access), in addition to the technical issues regarding service availability in certain locations. Other factors impeding Internet access for Indigenous communities include levels of literacy, cost, lack of training, vision problems and poor health, and affordability of maintaining an Internet connection [s]. Matching the type and quality of technology to needs in consultation with Indigenous communities goes a long way towards facilitating access [3].

At the 2016 Census of Population and Housing, 72.2% of households had at least one person access the Internet from the dwelling; for all Australians, regardless of Indigenous status, the proportion was 83.2%. Access could have been through a desktop/laptop computer, mobile or smart phone, tablet, or any other device.

References

  1. Townsend P. Deprivation. J Soc Policy. 1987; 16:125-46.
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Household use of information technology, Australia, 2010-11. (ABS Cat. no. 8146.0). Canberra: ABS; 2011.
  3. Rigney L. Digital inclusion and Aboriginal futures: three questions. In: Making the connection - essays on Indigenous digital excellence. Fremantle: Telstra Foundation; 2014.
 

Notes:  The data comprise Internet access at occupied private dwellings only.

Private dwelling: A private dwelling can be a house, flat or even a room. It can also be a caravan, houseboat, tent, or a house attached to an office, or rooms above a shop.

Aboriginal household: If a household has at least one Indigenous person who is a usual resident and who was present on Census Night it will be classified as a Household with Indigenous persons.

The numerator excludes the 4.2% of dwellings for which internet access was not stated: however, these records are included in the denominator.

Additional notes

Records whether any member of the household accesses the Internet from the dwelling. This includes accessing the internet through a desktop/laptop computer, mobile or smart phone, tablet, music or video player, gaming console, smart TV or any other device. It also includes accessing through any type of connection for example ADSL, fibre, cable, wireless, satellite and mobile broadband (3G/4G).

In previous censuses the question related to whether a dwelling had an Internet connection.

 

Geography:  Data available by Indigenous Area

 

Numerator:  Definitions are

  1. Aboriginal households, Internet not accessed from the dwelling
  2. Aboriginal households, Internet accessed from the dwelling
  3. Aboriginal households with children under 15 years, Internet not accessed from the dwelling
  4. Aboriginal households with children under 15 years, Internet accessed from the dwelling
 

Denominator:  Definitions are

  1. Total private dwellings with Aboriginal households
  2. Total private dwellings with Aboriginal households
  3. Total private dwellings with Aboriginal households with children under 15 years
  4. Total private dwellings with Aboriginal households with children under 15 years
 

Detail of analysis:  Percent

 

Source:  Compiled by PHIDU based on the ABS Census of Population and Housing, August 2016

 

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