85% of young people use mobile phones

The overwhelming majority of young people aged 10 to 15 years (84.6 percent) use a cell phone. The figures appear in a report released today by the National Statistics Institute that analyzes the evolution of the use of computers, the Internet and mobile phones.

Among the three tools, the mobile phone is undoubtedly the one that shows the greatest growth in terms of use by young people since 2005. Four years ago, INE surveys found that the mobile phone was used by 62 percent of young people, minus 22.6 than at the end of the first quarter of last year. Another curious aspect, related to the use of mobile phones among the youngest, is that over the last year, messages have gained prominence in relation to voice calls that have passed into the background (calls are a priority for 95.2 percent users and messages to 96.1 percent).

With regard to the use of the PC, INE reveals that 96.6 percent of young people between 10 and 15 years old are users. Number close to that used for Internet use in the same age universe: 92.7 percent. In 2005, computer penetration among young people stood at 91.2 percent and Internet penetration at 73.5 percent.

The data also reveal that, while using the PC and the Internet, the age group up to 15 years is the most relevant, with the penetration of these tools decreasing after that age, mobile phones are used by more than 90 percent of the population up to 40 years. Only then did a more pronounced decrease in the number of users begin to occur, but it nevertheless maintains this type of equipment with much more significant popularity indexes than the Internet or the PC in these age groups. For example, while in the 55-64 age group, average PC penetration reaches 23.2 percent and Internet use 18.7 percent, mobile phones remain an indispensable tool for 76.3 percent of the population.

INE data

There are no significant differences between boys and girls in the use of any of the tools. More than half of the users go to the Internet all or almost every day, especially at school (mainly) and at home. Schoolwork is the main reason for taking young people to the computer and the Internet, but very close to the issues related to leisure (89.1 for leisure vs 94.5 percent for schoolwork).

Statistics Portugal’s data for the use of PC and Internet refer to the first three months of each year analyzed. Mobile phone use is considered throughout the year.