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77% of households own cell phones; half of Koreans use computers

77% of households own cell phones; half of Koreans use computers

Posted April. 24, 2001 18:14,   


Nearly half of Korea`s households have personal computers (PCs) and 77 percent possess cellular phones, the National Statistical Office (NSO) said Tuesday. The NSO compiled the statistics on the information and communication sector after conducting interviews on 30,000 households or 80,000 people across the country last July.

According to the statistics, 46.4 percent of the country`s households owned personal computers in 2000, 17.4 percentage points up from the 29 percent in 1997. In addition, 77.2 percent of households possessed cellular phones and 31.4 percent owned PC communications and internet lines. As the distribution of cellular phones increased, the percentage of households using fixed-line phones decreased from 95.2 percent in 1997 to 93.4 percent last year. Of the population aged six and over, 51.6 percent were found able to use computers, 11.7 percentage points up from three years ago. But 97.1 percent of the elderly aged 60 and over and 93.4 percent of farmers and fishermen remained ignorant of how to link up to the internet.

The largest number of respondents, 40.4 percent, said that they used computers to use PC communications and internet services, followed by 27.8 percent using them for entertainment and games. Next came 14.7 percent for drawing up documents and 5.3 percent for information and data management. The NSO also found that Koreans used computers for two and a half hours a day on average or 17.2 hours a week. PC communications and internet services were enjoyed for 10.4 hours a week on average, marking a 2.5-fold increase from 4.2 hours in 1997.

Kwon Soon-Hwal shkwon@donga.com