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Aussie kids aged 10-13 now spend more time online than with friends or watching TV

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Base: Australians aged 10-13. July 2009 = June 2010 sample = 1681; July 2013 – June 2014 sample = 1508.

Australia’s 10-13 year-olds now spend more time using the internet than watching television or socialising with friends, the latest data from Roy Morgan Research for the year to June 2014 shows. 

Four years ago, in an average week 10-13 year-olds spent almost 15.5 hours watching TV and 12 hours playing with or talking to friends, with the internet taking up 639 minutes (10.65 hours) of their time.  

But kids this age now spend 819 minutes (13.65 hours) per week using the internet, whether at home, school or elsewhere—exactly three hours more than their peers did in 2010. And with only so many free hours in a week, they’ve had to prioritise: these kids now spend over three hours less in front of the box and an hour less socialising with friends, making the internet their number one pastime.

Average time spent on activities by 10-13 year-olds in 2010 and 2014

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), Base: Australians aged 10-13. July 2009 = June 2010 sample = 1681; July 2013 – June 2014 sample = 1508.

It could also be bronze, bronze, bronze for Australia at the next few Olympics: 10-13 year-olds now spend more time playing computer, electronic or console games (346 minutes/week, up 29) than sport (321, down 32). But there’s hope for our 2060 Nobel chances—they now spent more time doing homework (226 minutes/week, up 10) than watching DVDs (208, down 109).

Among younger Australians aged 6 to 9, watching TV and playing with or talking to friends remain clearly the top two activities, although both have declined since 2010. Back in the halcyon days of 2010, 6-9 year-olds spent about as much time during the week playing sport as using the internet; but today’s youngsters spend almost two hours more on the net than on the field.

Tim Martin, General Manager - Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“It is a milestone in our changing media landscape that the internet has overtaken television among 10-13 year-olds as the channel they spend more time using.

“Kids these days are an extremely influential group. Not only do they spend their own money but they influence their parents’ purchasing decisions across a range of household products.

“While it is of course vital for kid-focused businesses to understand today’s media habits of their target market, further analysis of these results could also deliver projected insights into the attitudes and behaviours of older teens and young adults beyond 2020.

“Of course, not all kids are the same, and some spend much more time than others on every kind of medium. Some of this is understandable based on their parents’ values and behaviours, but a lot is dependent on the kids themselves – their interests, preferences and activities.

“These are just some of the insights from the Young Australians Survey from Roy Morgan Research, which tracks the opinions, attitudes, behaviours, device usage and media consumption of kids aged 6-13 across Australia.”

For comments or more information please contact:

Tim Martin, General Manager – Media
Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5116

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Related Research

View our ready-made Understanding Young Australians profiles, providing insights into the Activities or Media habits of Australians aged 6 to 13.  

About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

In Australia, Roy Morgan Research is considered to be the authoritative source of information on financial behaviour, readership, voting intentions and consumer confidence. Roy Morgan Research is a specialist in recontact customised surveys which provide invaluable and effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding customers and target markets.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate



25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%