Women Online: Demographics
- In 2018, 99.2% of women between the ages of 16 and 44 in the UK used the Internet. This is compared with 97.2% of women between the ages of 45 and 54, 92% of women between the ages of 55 and 64, 78.9% of women between the ages of 65 and 74, and 37.6% of women over the age of 75.
- As such, the majority of women in the UK who are using the Internet are between the ages of 16 and 54, but the younger age group has slightly more penetration.
- The Digital in the UK report found that of the combined advertising audiences of Facebook, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger, the highest percentage for women is in the 25-to-34-year-old bracket (13%). This is followed by the 35-to-44-year-old bracket at 9% and the 18-to-24-year-old and 45-to-54-year-old brackets, each at 8%.
- This data suggests that women between the ages of 25 and 34 are the highest Internet users in the UK based on social media use.
- London and the South East region of the UK have the highest proportion of recent Internet users in the UK at 93% each.
- The South West region comes in second at 92.3% penetration and East of England is third at 92%.
- Northern Ireland has the lowest proportion of recent Internet users at 86.7%.
- According to the 2019 Digital in the UK report, 84% of the UK is considered urban areas, which is suggests that most Internet users live in Urban areas. This can also be extended to assume that most female Internet users are also in urban areas.
- In 2018, there were 4,459,151 females in London compared with 4,448,930 males, suggesting that the geographic location data accurately represents women in this region
- In 2018, there were 4,633,294 females in the South East region compared with 4,500,331 males, suggesting that the geographic location data accurately represents women in this region.
- In 2018, there were 2,844,821 females in the South West region compared with 2,754,914 males, suggesting that the geographic location data accurately represents women in this region.
- In 2018, there were 3,145,694 females in the East of England region compared with 3,055,520 males, suggesting that the geographic location data accurately represents women in this region.
- In 2014, the latest year for which data is available, nearly 99% of Scottish households with annual incomes of £40,001 and more had Internet access.
- Additionally, about 96% of Scottish households with annual incomes of between £30,001 and £40,000 had Internet access, followed by 93% of households with annual incomes between £25,001 and £30,000.
- The income bracket with the lowest penetration of Internet access was the £6,000 to £10,000 per year band at 51%, followed by the £0 to £6,000 band at 60%.
- Although this data is just for Scotland, the UK Office for National Statistics stated this data suggests that across the UK, "those on low incomes are less likely to have an internet connection in the home." Therefore, the data is likely similar in other UK regions.
- Moreover, this data is not specific to women; however, in 2017, the most common household type in the UK (67%) comprised opposite sex married couples. In addition, 53.8% of the one-person households in the UK contain one woman. This information suggests that women are a part of the majority of households in the UK. Therefore, the data on income level and Internet access would apply to women in the UK.
- In 2015, the last time the UK participated in the World Internet Project, 96% of people with a college degree or higher used the Internet and 94% of people currently attending college used the Internet.
- Only 88% of high school graduates and 67% of people with only a middle school education used the Internet.
- Although this data represents both males and females in the UK, it is assumed that the data would be similar to women only based on population numbers.
- The last time the UK published data on the marital status of Internet users was in 2012. At that time, 49% of all Internet users were married, 38% were single, 8% were divorced, and 3% were either separated or widowed.
- In examining other reports published by the UK Office for National Statistics, marital status does not appear to be a category that is still measured.
To create a demographic profile of women in the UK who view any kind of content online, we began with official statistics kept by the UK Office of National Statistics website. Although there was nothing specific on women who view content online, we were able to find some information about women who use the Internet. We assumed that if women were using the Internet, they were viewing content and since the criterion was "any kind of content online," we used women who use the Internet as a proxy for women who view any kind of content online. Unfortunately, the only current statistic that is kept by the Office of National Statistics for female Internet users is age. The remaining statistics were for both men and women, and some were well beyond our typical 24-month restriction.
So, we changed our strategy a bit and began searching for unofficial statistics from research companies like Deloitte, PwC, We Are Social, and others. We found additional data on the age of women in the UK who use social media, so we included that data under the age category, but outside of the overall percentage of women in the UK who use the Internet or various social media platforms, there was no information on demographics specific to female Internet users in the UK.
Finally, we looked for Internet- and technology-related publications such as Wired, The Verge, CNET, and others, but again, we were only able to obtain the global breakdown of Internet users by gender. There was some basic data on what women do on the Internet as opposed to what men do and we found the gender breakdown of Internet shopping, but again, these data points were mostly unrelated to a demographic profile of women in the UK who use the Internet.
Therefore, we returned to the Office of National Statistics and was able to uncover geographic data for 2018 for both men and women in the UK. Since the population is nearly even in all regions of the UK, with women slightly edging out men, we assumed that the data for both men and women applied to each gender equally. Then, looking back in the archives of the Office of National Statistics even further, we found data from 2012 for marital status. This statistic was also for both male and female Internet users in the UK, but again, with the population split nearly even, we assumed that the data would apply equally to both men and women. Given that most households in the UK are comprised of married couples, we assumed that the 2012 data is likely still similar to current data. Note that to view any data on the Office of National Statistics, one needs to click on the Excel file links to download the files. We still weren't able to find the educational level of Internet users in the UK on the Office of National Statistics website. Fortunately, we came across the World Internet Project Report for 2018. The UK was not a participant for that year's report, but we found that the UK did participate in the 2015 edition. This allowed us to find the penetration of Internet use segmented by educational level. Therefore, as this was the most recent data available for the country, we elected to use it. It does appear that the population of the UK has only become more educated since 2015, so we assumed that the penetration rate of Internet use remains very high for those who are attending or have graduated from college. However, it is likely that Internet use has increased at lower educational levels as well. Still, for the purposes of this report, we assumed that the majority of users overall have at least some college.