Almost half of Aussie kids own or use a mobile phone

A child laying on their stomach looking at a mobile phone

New analysis of Roy Morgan data from the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) shows that nearly half of Aussie kids aged 6-13 own or use a mobile phone.

The analysis shows that in 2018, 32 per cent of kids owned a mobile phone with a further 16 per cent having access to one. One in four kids aged 6-7 had or used a mobile phone.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the research provides valuable insight into consumer behaviours.

“This research shows that Australian kids are becoming increasingly digital,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

“Australia is becoming a more connected society and that trend is being driven by an increase in mobile devices, even amongst our children.

“This type of information helps us plan for the future, as a regulator it is important for us to keep pace with changes to the industry.”
As in previous years, girls led the way in terms of mobile phone access with 50 per cent of Australian girls aged 6-13 owning or having access to a mobile phone in 2018 compared to 46 per cent of boys.

Children in NSW and the ACT had the highest access, with 52 per cent of kids in NSW/ACT owning or having access to a mobile, up from 44 per cent in 2013. The lowest was Queensland where 43 per cent of kids aged 6 to 13 years had access to a mobile phone.

The most common reasons for kids to reach for their phones were to play games (70 per cent), take photos (67 per cent), use apps (64 per cent) and call their parents or family (57 per cent).

The research has been published on the ACMA website in the Kids and mobiles: How Australian children are using mobile phones report and is based on data from Roy Morgan’s Young Australians Survey.

The report has been compiled under the researchacma program.

ACMA Media Report 40/2019