Thursday, 21 November 2019 12:02

Aussie kids big owners, users of mobile phones Featured

Aussie kids big owners, users of mobile phones Pixabay

Nearly half of Australian kids aged 6-13 years of age own or use a mobile phone, according to new research.

New analysis of Roy Morgan Research data from the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) shows that in 2018, 32%  of kids owned a mobile phone - with a further 16% having access to one.

And one in four kids aged 6-7 had or used a mobile phone.

ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the research provides valuable insight into consumer behaviours.

“This research shows that Australian kids are becoming increasingly digital.

“Australia is becoming a more connected society and that trend is being driven by an increase in mobile devices, even amongst our children.

“This type of information helps us plan for the future, as a regulator it is important for us to keep pace with changes to the industry.”

The research shows that, as in previous years, girls led the way in terms of mobile phone access with 50% of Australian girls aged 6-13 owning or having access to a mobile phone in 2018 compared to 46% of boys.

Children in NSW and the ACT had the highest access, with 52% of kids in NSW/ACT owning or having access to a mobile - up from 44%in 2013. The lowest was Queensland where 43% of kids aged 6 to 13 years had access to a mobile phone.

The most common reasons for kids to reach for their phones were to play games (70%), take photos (67%), use apps (64%) and call their parents or family (57%).

The research has been published on the ACMA website in the Kids and mobiles: How Australian children are using mobile phones report , and is based on data from Roy Morgan’s Young Australians Survey, and compiled under the research acma program.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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