87% of Brits have been online header image

The number of Britons who have used the internet continues to increase.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show 87 per cent of the adult population - roughly 44.6 million people - had been online by the end of the first quarter of 2014. This represents growth of 1.1 million on the same period a year earlier.

Some 6.4 million adults (13 per cent) have never used the internet, a drop of 659,000 compared to quarter one 2013. 

The ONS found men are more likely to go online than women, with 89 per cent of males having done so compared to 85 per cent of women. This gender divide has remained consistent since the organisation began collecting data on internet access in 2011.

On a generational basis, close to all of 16 to 24-year-olds have use the internet, with just one per cent of this demographic having never accessed the web. This figure drops to just 37 per cent among people aged 75 and over. Of those adults who have never used the web, 26 per cent are a working age (16 to 64).

In regional terms, London has the most internet users, with 90.2 per cent of the capital's adults having been online. The south east (89.9 per cent), eastern England (89.1 per cent) and the south west (89.0 per cent) have the next highest number of web users.

Northern Ireland has the greatest number of people who have never been online, with 20.3 per cent of its adult population having failed to do so. Wales (15.4 per cent) and the West Midlands (15.2 per cent) have the next highest number of adults who have not used the internet. 

While Northern Ireland has the lowest proportion of web users, the region has actually seen the greatest level of growth between 2011 and 2014, the ONS said.