Notes on the data: Internet access at home

Internet access from private dwellings, 2016


Policy context:  A household can be considered to be disadvantaged if it lacks the resources to participate fully in society [1]. Access to the outside world, through the Internet provides a means of communicating with friends and family, as well as services, employers and schools, thereby increasing educational, employment and other opportunities, including social interaction [2].

Socioeconomic characteristics of households continue to influence the rate of computer and Internet connectivity across Australia. Households which do not have children under 15 years, those that are located in non-metropolitan or regional areas of Australia and/or have lower household incomes are less likely to have a computer and/or access to the Internet [2]. These socioeconomic factors also influence the take-up rate of broadband access (as opposed to dial-up access), in addition to the technical issues regarding service availability in certain locations.

At the 2016 Census of Population and Housing, 83.2% of households had at least one person access the Internet from the dwelling. This could have been through a desktop/laptop computer, mobile or smart phone, tablet, or any other device [3].


  1. Townsend P. Deprivation. J Soc Policy. 1987;16:125-46.
  2. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Household use of information technology, Australia, 2010-11. (ABS Cat. no. 8146.0). Canberra: ABS; 2011.
  3. ABS. 2016 Census Quick Stats. Canberra: ABS, accessed 8 August 2017. Available from:

Notes:  The data indicators presented are:

  • Internet accessed from dwelling
  • Internet not accessed from dwelling

The numerator excludes the 2.7% of dwellings for which Internet access was not stated: however, these records are included in the denominator.

Additional notes

  1. Records whether any member of the household accesses the Internet from the dwelling. This includes accessing the internet through a desktop/laptop computer, mobile or smart phone, tablet, music or video player, gaming console, smart TV or any other device. It also includes accessing through any type of connection for example ADSL, fibre, cable, wireless, satellite and mobile broadband (3G/4G).
  2. In previous censuses the question related to whether a dwelling had an Internet connection.

Geography:  Data available by Population Health Area, Local Government Area, Primary Health Network, Quintiles and Remoteness Areas


Numerator:  Internet accessed from the dwelling


Denominator:  Total private dwellings


Detail of analysis:  Percent


Source:  Compiled by PHIDU based on the ABS Census of Population and Housing, August 2016.


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