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Most US Children Use the Internet at Least Daily

Playing games, watching videos the top online activities for kids

Internet user penetration among US children is rising—eMarketer expects the number of users in the youngest demographic to grow 6.7% this year to reach 24.3 million, or nearly half of 0- to 11-year-olds in the US. And children who do use the internet are doing so frequently, according to March 2014 polling by KidSay.

Frequency with Which US Children Use the Internet, by Gender, March 2014 (% of total)

The study found that 41.5% and 36.3% of 8-to-11-year-old US males and females, respectively, used the internet “many times a day”—the top frequency for both groups—and around one-fifth did so daily. With the exception of those who “rarely” went online, the percentage of respondents decreased as the level of frequency declined.

Online Activity Conducted Most Often by US Children, by Gender, March 2014 (% of total)

Playing games was the online activity conducted most often by US children, cited by 45.0% of boys and 39.0% of girls. Watching videos was also popular, at 38.0% male and 27.6% female. While both of these were more popular among boys, girls were more likely to conduct all other online activities, such as searching the internet and social networking—albeit at much lower rates.

While gender percentages were relatively the same for US children, KidSay found this changed once kids hit their teenage years. For example, social networking was the most popular online activity for females ages 12 to 15, cited by 39.5%, compared with 19.1% of males. Teen boys appeared to maintain the same habits that they did as children, with watching videos (37.8% of respondents) and playing games (22.2%) switching spots but remaining the top two activities. Meanwhile, teen girls had lost interest in the latter, with just 8.0% playing games online.

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