Desperate (British) housewives

British housewives spend almost half their leisure time online - more than any other social group in the world, according to research by TNS, reported in The Guardian.

The global online poll of more than 27,000 people in 16 countries revealed that UK housewives spend 47% of their free time surfing the internet, compared with 39% for students around the world and 32% for the unemployed.

The survey also revealed that six out of 10 adults in the UK have gone on to meet up in 'real life' with a person they first met online.

Overall, as a nation the Chinese spend the largest fraction of their leisure time online - 44% compared with 28% for Britons. Of the 16 nationalities surveyed, Danes spent the least amount of their free time on the net, just 15%.