Internet usage rising, changing: StatsCan

CanWest News Service
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Not only are Canadians surfing the web in larger numbers, many are changing the way they use the Internet, according to data released Monday by Statistics Canada.
In 2009, 80 per cent of Canadians 16 and older, about 21.7 million people, used the Internet, up from 73 per cent in 2007, when the survey was last conducted.
And while email remains the most common online activity, a growing number of people are also downloading movies, watching television, searching for health information and making purchases, possibly because the number of households using high speed connections is also rising.
Internet usage increased in every province, with the largest gains in New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador, where 15 per cent more people were surfing the web.
British Columbia and Alberta continued to have the most people online, with 85 per cent of the population, followed closely by Ontario, where 81 per cent of people use the Internet.
Among Canadian cities, the highest rates of Internet use were reported in Calgary and Saskatoon, both at 89 per cent. They were followed by Edmonton, Ottawa-Gatineau, Vancouver and Victoria, at around 86 per cent each.
And while the "digital divide" in Internet use between larger communities and small towns continues to persist, the new statistics showed that the divide on the basis of income, education and age narrowed between 2007 and 2009.

Organizations: Statistics Canada

Geographic location: New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia Alberta Ontario Calgary Saskatoon Edmonton Ottawa Gatineau Vancouver Victoria

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