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JUNE 11, 2002

Internet dropouts: a Statistics Canada report

(communiqué from Statistics Canada)

Just over 232,000 Canadian households that had used the Internet regularly (in a typical month) reported that they no longer did so, according to the 2000 Household Internet Use Survey.

Over half of these "dropout" households (those who no longer use the Internet regularly) used to surf the Internet at least once a week. By far the most common reason to drop out was that they had "no need" for the Internet (30% of dropout households).

This suggests that either the Internet did not have what these people were looking for, or they were content to use more conventional sources of information that do not demand expensive equipment or special skills. It may also indicate lack of time or difficulty finding what they were searching for.

Some 17% of households that had previously used the Internet regularly no longer did so because it was too expensive and 14% had quit the Internet because they lost access to a computer. These reasons are similar to those given by Internet dropouts in the United States. In September 2000, 11% of American dropouts said they had quit the Internet because their connection had proved too costly and 21% said they no longer had a personal computer.

Internet dropouts and infrequent users (those who have not used the Net in the past month, but have used it at some time in the past 12 months) are more likely to be employed and more likely to be women, compared with people who use the Internet regularly (five or more hours a week). They are also less likely to live in households with incomes over $60,000 a year or to have a postsecondary education.

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