Internet surfing is now mainstream in UK, says study

Surfing the Internet for news, information and friendship is today a mainstream activity in Britain, carried out by both sexes and all ages, a new study, quoted by an AFP report said.

The AFP report quoted the study from Nielsen-NetRatings as saying that young women have taken over from young men as the main Internet users in the UK, while men aged 50 and over are the largest male group online.

Once viewed as the preserve of stereotypically introverted young men, the Internet is in fact patrolled today by an audience split almost evenly between the sexes, 51.5% male and 48.4% female, and with 1.7 times more 50-plus year-olds than children under 18 active online, the AFP report said.

In Britain, 'the Internet is no longer dominated by young male adults. Times have changed considerably,' Nielsen's European Internet Analyst Alex Burmaster was quoted as saying.

Internet analysts have been saying for some time that in the more "˜mature' online markets such as the US and Europe, where Internet access is highest, online activity is becoming more mainstream.

Young male adults remain dominant only in countries where Internet access is more limited, they say.