Internet usage and young Swedes in Sweden

A new report Unga svenskar och Internet (Swedish) from World Internet Institute, .SE och Medierådet shows that in Sweden social economic background is associated with large differences in how early children learn to use the Internet. It also shows how wide-spread blogging, online communities, and instant messaging is amongst young Swedes.

Here follows a taste of some of the 50-page Swedish report’s findings.

Children learn earlier than ever

The age that Swedish children begin using the Internet has fallen from thirteen in the year 2000 to just four in 2009. This age, according to the report, is derived from when 50% of the age group have familiarised themselves with the Internet. So in 2009 we can say that every other Swedish four year-old has used the Internet. That usage is often watching short video and film clips as well as playing simple games.

Graph taken from the report

Pre-school children who have well-educated parents are more likely to be both familiar with the internet as well as regular users of the Internet. This is significantly less for pre-school children of less well educated parents. In other words the report claims a direct correlation between education level of the parents and internet usage of pre-school kids (but not for older children).

4 in 10 young women have blogged

Blogging is very common in Sweden, more so amongst girls than boys (Boys, especially teenage ones, spend more time playing games). Already by 12-13 years old 20% of Swedish girls have a blog and the majority of those blog at least weekly. The level of blogging increases until we get to the 20 year-olds where more than 50% of those that blog do so on a daily basis. In total 40% of young women have blogged or blog and 69% read other’s blogs.

Internet in Schools but not well used

One of the many interesting facts highlighted in the report is that although the Internet is available to almost all school children, only the 18-19 age group contains a majority who use it daily at school (excluding during breaks). For the 12-17 age group it is a weekly rather than daily occurrence. Use of the Internet has yet to make a significant appearance in school assignments. 75% of School children themselves say that the Internet is not important for their school-work, whereas a majority claim that it is important or very important in their leisure-time.

A selection of facts…

  • Half of 16-25 year-olds visit an online community daily
  • Amongst 12-15 year-old girls Bilddagboken is the most popular social network
  • Instant messaging is used by almost all Swedish teenagers
  • Those who play games play on average 5.5 hour a week
  • 16 year-old boys who play online games play for 11 hours a week
  • 72% of 16-25 year-olds are members of social networks
  • 82% of all Swedish bloggers are under 35 years old, 65% are under 25.