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Mobile phone use among Australian children continues to grow


New research from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that almost half (46%) of Australian children aged between 6 to 13 years use a mobile phone—up from 41% in 2015.

The Kids and Mobiles: How Australian children are using mobile phones interactive report, released today, looks at Australian children’s mobile usage in the 12 months to June 2020 and trends since 2015.

The ACMA’s latest report reveals around one third (33%) of Australian children aged 6 to 13 owned a mobile phone. Ownership of a mobile phone is higher for the 12 to 13-year-olds, with just over three quarters (76%) of children in this age group owning the mobile they used.

Around half of girls (48%) and boys (45%) had accessed a mobile phone. Access among boys has risen, up from 38% in 2015. In contrast, usage among girls has remained steady over the 6 year period.

The most common reason for girls to reach for their phones was to take photos or videos, while for boys it was to play games. Children are also using mobiles to access apps, send or receive text messages, call their parents or family and listen to music.

The report measures how children’s use of mobile phones is changing, including how habits compare across different ages, locations and backgrounds.

The research was compiled under the ACMA Research program.

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