Young people spend more than a day a week online header image

Young Britons spend an average of more than a day a week on the internet, new research has revealed.

An Ofcom study shows the typical 16 to 24-year-old devotes 24 hours and 12 minutes to the web each week. The average time spent online for UK adults as whole is 16 hours and 54 minutes per week. This drops to nine hours and 12 minutes for people over the age of 65. 

Ofcom found the typical internet user carries out nine online activities at least quarterly, but for over 65s this falls to just two - browsing websites and checking emails. People of this age group are much less likely to undertake tasks like online banking, streaming TV programmes and films and using social media.

However, the proportion of over 65s using the web has increased nine percentage points since 2012, with 42 per cent of this group now having been online. Ofcom said tablet use had helped to drive this growth, with 17 per cent of the demographic having used one of the devices, compared to just five per cent in 2012. Overall, 98 per cent of adults have now been online.

Computers and laptops remain the most popular way to access the internet, with 78 per cent of peopling using them to do so. However, two-thirds of adults also go online using other devices. Tablet use has almost doubled to reach 30 per cent, while 59 per cent of people have been online via a mobile phone.

Ofcom found gaming is becoming increasingly popular, with 42 per cent of adults now having played some sort of game through the internet. 

"The rise in these activities could be driven by the overall increase in internet access as well as increased access to content via tablets and smartphones," the telecoms watchdog said.

Two-thirds of the adults surveyed revealed they use social networking sites, while 60 per cent of those with an active account visit it more than once a day.