Swedish children most Net savvy

Swedes are among the world’s most connected people and are swarming to the Internet at an ever earlier age, a study published recently showed, indicating that half of Swedish three-year-olds have been online.

"The Internet continues to spread to younger and younger children," according to the study on Swedish online habits, conducted by Internet infrastructure foundation, SE.

In 2000, half of Swedish children had begun using the Internet by 13. By 2004, the beginner age had dropped to nine, by 2008, it stood at five, and this year it was down to three, according to the study.

There is also an increase in usage among younger children, the study showed, pointing out that today 19 per cent of four-year-olds use the Internet on a daily basis, up from 2 per cent in 2009, while 25 per cent of six-year-olds go online everyday compared to 5 per cent two years ago.

Titled Swedes and the Internet 2011, the 72-page study was based on telephone interviews with 2,537 persons over 16, including 429 parents, who were asked about the Internet habits of 616 children.

It also revealed that a full 88 per cent of Sweden’s nine million inhabitants have access to the Internet and 85 per cent have access to broadband at home.

In fact, there are more computers than people in Swedish households, which on average count 2.5 family members and an average of 2.8 computers.

Meanwhile, 81 per cent of Swedish Internet users go online every day, and 62 per cent of them use social networks, the study showed.

Among other revelations in the study was that illegal file-sharers are more willing to pay for music online than people, who refrain from file-sharing.

Among file-sharers aged 12 to 35, 22 per cent paid to download songs and 30 per cent paid for on-line music service subscriptions.

That compares with 14 per cent of non-file-sharers in the same age group, who paid to download songs and 20 per cent who paid for music service subscriptions. — AFP