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Email 'most common internet activity' in Britain

Emailing has held on to the top spot as the most common internet activity in Britain, despite the continued rise of social media, a survey has found.

Internet banking was found to have increased from 30% to 63% in the last decade, and social networking had gained 21 points since 2011 - the earliest year for which figures are available.

The proportion of adults who shopped online was static at 77%, with sports goods and clothes still the most common purchases.

Changing shopping habits

However, there was a tail-off among some groups of shoppers.

The proportion of those aged 25 to 34 shopping online fell from 93% in 2016 to 89% this year.

And there was a slight drop among 55 to 64-year-olds to 75%, although that is still about a third more than in 2008.

Overall, the number of households that has an internet connection has hit 90% after a 1% rise since 2016.

Of those without access, about two-thirds said they felt the internet was "not useful or interesting", although a fifth said they lacked the skills to use the web.

Meanwhile the proportion of all adults accessing the internet via mobiles was 78% - up from 75% in 2016 and 61% in 2011.


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