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e-Commerce Statistics Canada Household Internet Use Survey 2001
Internet use 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 formal education

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 year.

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 self-employment activities.

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 cable continues

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 British Columbia

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 "any location."

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.


  1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
  Any location
  % of households
All households
Single-family with children1
Single-family without children
1. Unmarried children under age 18 living at home.
Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM II, table 358-0003 and Catalogue no. 56F0004MIE.
Last modified: April 23, 2002.

For more information on the Household Internet Use Survey, consult Internet Use in Canada.

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N.B.** The articles were first published in the Times (Montreal, Canada) and written by John Shenton as special contributor to the Times Technology Section. Articles and Reports written by us may be printed or displayed on your website providing they are kept intact and a link/attribution to this website or Internet Merchandising Systems plus authorship is displayed.




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