Kids’ expanding time online

The time children aged 2-11 spend online has grown 63% in the past five years, MEDIAWEEK reports, citing Nielsen Online figures. They spent seven hours a month online in 2004, compared to 11 hours online now, “with boys spending slightly more time on average than girls (seven percent more this past May).” Of course, everybody’s online time has grown since 2004; the average Web user is spending 36% more time online now. The number of kids using the Web has grown too – by 18%, compared to the 10% growth in Web use by everybody. This past May, the 2-to-11-year-old age category reached 16 million, or 9.5% of the active online universe, Nielsen added. “That growth spurt is particularly noteworthy, since it happened during a period where the number of kids under 14 in the US declined by 1% … per the U.S. Census Bureau.” I think a good part of the explanation is the growth in virtual worlds, with kids 5-9 being the fastest-growing age group in a recent study about that (see this).

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