SEOUL, March 3 (Yonhap) — The average amount of time South Koreans spent using the internet reached over 20 hours per week last year, 2.7 hours more than the time spent the previous year amid the stay-at-home trend driven by the pandemic, a report showed Wednesday.
South Koreans used the internet 20.1 hours a week on average last year, compared with 17.4 hours the previous year and 16.5 hours in 2018, according to the report from the Ministry of Science and ICT that surveyed 60,000 people over the age of 3.
The report found that 79.1 percent of respondents used the internet on the go last year, down 20.7 percentage points from the previous year, highlighting the reduced outdoor activity amid the pandemic.
Use of online services from social media to banking, however, grew overall as the stay-at-home economy boomed last year.
The average time internet users spent on social media stood at 65.8 minutes a week last year, compared with 53.9 minutes the previous year.
The online shopping usage rate reached 69.9 percent last year, up 5.8 percentage points from 2019, while the average monthly online shopping use rose to five times from 3.3 times over the same period.
The average cost of online shopping purchases also increased to reach 166,780 won (US$148) last year, up 52,617 won from the previous year.
The online banking usage rate rose to 76.5 percent last year from 64.9 percent in 2019, with that of the 60s age group rising sharply to 50.5 percent from 26.9 percent over the same period.
The report also found that ownership of laptops and tablet PCs soared last year as the country opted to introduce more remote education services as preventative measures against the virus.
The share of 10- to 19-year-olds with tablet PCs soared 23.8 percentage points on-year to 35.7 percent last year, while those with laptops in the same age group rose 14.1 percentage points to 39.8 percent.