Nine in 10 Australian children surfing the Net now

NINE in 10 Australian children have accessed the internet this year, the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed.

The figure was revealed in the ABS's Children's Participation in Cultural and Leisure Activities survey, which was released on Wednesday.

ABS assistant director of the Innovation and Technology National Statistics Centre, David Taylor, said the survey showed a growing trend in children accessing the internet.

"The data shows that 90% of children had accessed the internet in 2012. This is up from 79% in 2009 and 65% in 2006," Mr Taylor said.

Remarkably, almost a third of Australian children aged five to 14 years had a mobile in April.

"And the likelihood of having a phone increased with age, with nearly three quarters (73%) of 12-to-14 year olds having one," Mr Taylor said.

Information collected on recreational activities showed that more kids are spending time on the internet, computers and games consoles than three years ago. However more children are also riding bikes, skateboarding and riding scooters.

On average, children spent 15 hours watching TV outside of school hours in the last two school weeks prior to the survey period.

Participation in cultural activities were also captured in the survey such as playing a musical instrument, singing, dancing, drama and art and craft and attendance at various cultural venues and events.

The survey reported that 53% of all children visited a public library with an average of 15 visits in the 12 months leading up to April. In the same period 43% visited a museum or art gallery.

The most popular cultural activity amongst girls was dancing with more than a quarter (27%) participating, while for boys it was playing a musical instrument with 16% participating.



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