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Time spent online among kids increased 63 percent over the past five years, and the growth rate of this group is outpacing that of the overall Internet population, according to a recent study by The Nielsen Co.
In May 2009, children aged 2-11 comprised nearly 16 million, or 9.5 percent, of the active online universe. Since 2004, the number of kids online has increased 18 percent, as compared to 10 percent for the total active universe, with a fairly even split between boys and girls, according to Nielsen. The growth of children online outpaces the overall growth of children in the U.S., where kids under 14 are projected decrease by 1 percent from 2004 to 2010 (according to the U.S. Census Bureau, from 7/04 – 7/10 projection).
Time spent online among children aged 2-11 increased 63 percent in the last five years, from nearly 7 hours in May 2004 to more than 11 hours online in May 2009. Time spent among kids outpaced the increase for the overall population, which grew 36 percent in the last five years. Boys spent 7 percent more time online than girls; while girls viewed 9 percent more Web pages than boys did in May 2009.
According to Nielsen’s @Plan Summer 2009 data, 26.3 percent of the online adult population, or 38.2 million, have children 11 years old or younger in the household – a 7 percent increase from Summer 2008. Online adults with children under age 12 in the household were 1.7 times more likely to purchase a digital camcorder and 1.5 times more likely to purchase groceries online than average.
Online video viewership among 2-11 year olds was split evenly between boys and girls, with 5.1 million boys and 5.2 million girls viewing video online in May. Online video consumption between boys and girls was not so even, however. In May 2009, boys led in viewing and time spent: consuming 61 percent of video streams among children and comprising 57 percent of the time spent viewing videos.
Nearly 48 percent of video viewers on the Pokémon Web brand were boys between the ages of 2 to 11, while 38 percent of video viewers on the Barbie Web brand were girls aged 2-11.