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Kids and mobiles: how Australian children are using mobile phones

Young and mobile

Almost half of Australian children aged 6 to 13 now own or use a mobile phone. Our Kids and mobiles interactive report looks at the trends in kids’ mobile use since 2013, including:

  • how many own a phone
  • what they use it for
  • how their use is changing
  • the habits of boys and girls of different ages, places and backgrounds

Kids’ access to mobiles

As at December 2018, almost half of all children aged 6 to 13 (48%) had access to a mobile phone.

Figure 1: Percentage of children aged 6 to 13 who have or use a mobile phone

"Data for this chart is in the data file on the landing page for ‘Kids and mobiles: how Australian children are using mobile phones’, available from the ACMA website. "

Source: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey

Owning a mobile phone

For children aged 6 to 13, owning a mobile is more common than just using one. 1 in 3 children own the mobile phone they use, while 1 in 6 just have access. 

Figure 2: Mobile phone ownership among children aged 6 to 13 (2018)

"Data for this chart is in the data file on the landing page for ‘Kids and mobiles: how Australian children are using mobile phones’, available from the ACMA website."

Source: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey

How phones are used

Kids use mobile phones for playing games, taking photos, and using apps—more than for keeping in touch with parents. The amount of contact between children and parents is almost the same, while activities like using apps and the internet and calling friends has risen.

Figure 3: Kids’ mobile phone use in the previous 4 weeks

"Data for this chart is in the data file on the landing page for ‘Kids and mobiles: how Australian children are using mobile phones’, available from the ACMA website."

Source: Roy Morgan Young Australians Survey, Base: Children aged 6 to 13 who use a mobile phone

Interactive report

For more information about kids and mobiles, including by gender and location, view our full interactive report.

Please note: we are working to make our interactive reports better for you to use on your mobile device. At the moment, you may find this report easier to view on a computer.

View information about the methodology used for the report.

ACMA research

Find out more about our research program.

Accessing the data

Download data files for the information contained in this report. If you’re having trouble accessing any information, please contact us.

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