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Published: 1 Nov 2013

US Children’s Media Use 2013

Extra

Seventy-two percent of US children under the age of eight have used a mobile device, according to a new survey by San-Francisco-based non-profit organisation Common Sense Media. Notably, the use of mobile devices among very young children is escalating fast: 38% under the age of two have used one for media, compared to 10% in 2011.

The organisation surveyed 1,463 parents of children aged up to eight years old during May and June 2013. The survey – Zero to Eight: Children's Media Use in America 2013 – is the second in a series examining media use among young children.

Other key findings include:

  • Three-quarters of US children aged eight and under have access to some type of smart mobile device, up from 50% in 2011.
  • The amount of time children under the age of eight spend using mobile devices in a typical day has tripled, from an average of five minutes per day, to 15 minutes per day.
  • Access to mobile media among poor and minority children is growing: 61% of lower-income children have access to an internet-connected mobile device.
  • However, access to high-speed internet among lower-income families has stalled over the past two years, climbing just 4% from 42% to 46%.

As mobile devices become more ingrained in the lives of young children, a host of new educational and entertainment opportunities is emerging. The survey found that 48% of five to eight-year-olds “often or sometimes” use educational computer games or software; this rate increases among higher-income families.

For more on how technology is transforming the lives of children, see Touchscreen Toddlers and The Classroom Revolution.

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