The proportion of Brazilians aged ten and older—181 billion people—who use the internet rose from 64.7 to 69.8 percent 2016–2017. These are nearly 10 million new users from the second half year of 2017 to that of the following year. Figures were released today (Dec. 20) by Brazil’s statistics agency IBGE.
All regions of the country saw a jump of four to six percentage points. “This is a process that’s been taken place relatively quickly—an increase of almost ten million internet users in one year. This is happening in several age groups, among both young and older people,” said IBGE expert Adriana Beringuy.
In percentages, the most significant growth was observed among people aged 60 and older—up 25.9 percent. The survey also shows a climb of 7.4 percent in internet use among teenagers aged 10–13. In this group, 71.2 percent of people have gone online, and 41.8 percent have their own personal cellphone.
Figures also reveal a more considerable surge in rural areas. From 2016 to 2017, the amount of households with internet access in the field went up over seven percentage points—from 33.6 to 41 percent. In the same period, households with access to the internet in urban centers experienced an increase of five percentage points—from 75 to 80.1 percent.
The survey also brings data on the purpose of internet users online. Sending e-mails was mentioned by 66.1 percent of users, down from 2016’s 69.3 percent. Conversely, using the internet to make voice and video calls skyrocketed from 73.3 to 83.8 percent, as was the case with watching shows, series, and films, which boosted from 74.6 to 81.8 percent.
Also reported was a growth in internet access for sending text and voice messages through apps like WhatsApp and Telegram. This use was named by 95.5 percent of users, and represents an increase from the 94.2 percent registered in 2016.
Lack of knowledge is the main reason for staying off the net. It was mentioned by 38.5 percent of respondents. “The population saying it does not know how to use the internet is larger in urban areas than in the field. It may come as a relevant fact that younger age groups in rural areas are larger. And, even though internet access among older people has grown more significantly, elders are still the one who use it less, comparatively speaking,” Beringuy argues.
Lack of interest came second on the list of reasons for abstention from internet use. It was referred to by 36.7 percent of the people heard. Price, service unavailability, and access costs were also listed.