Huge numbers of Fifers adapted to Zoom calls to stay in touch during pandemic

More people than ever were regular internet users in Fife and Clackmannanshire in the months leading up to the coronavirus pandemic, new figures show.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 6:49 pm

As family Zoom calls, home working and internet shopping have become a larger part of the country’s day-to-day lives, over 49 million people are now online across the UK, with a national rise fuelled by a spike in the number of older people using the web.

In Clackmannanshire and Fife, 95.2% of adults surveyed by the Office for National Statistics between January and March 2020 had been online in the previous three months – an estimated 329,000 residents.

That was up from 92.0% in 2019, ​and higher than the average across the UK, where 92.1% of over-16s regularly use the internet.

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The survey reveals the number of people online regularly at start of pandemic

It was also the largest proportion reported since records began in 2011, when 77.6% of adults in Clackmannanshire and Fife were regularly on the internet.

Although internet use has increased across the UK, 3.4 million people surveyed by the ONS in 2020 said they had never used the web – and more than 60% of them were aged 75 and over.

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The ONS suggested that the sharp rise in use among older people last year could be partly related to the effects of the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, as millions of people began to head online to stay in touch with friends and family.

However, the figures should not be used as an overall indicator of its impact, the ONS said, as the data was gathered between January and March 2020, just as the coronavirus outbreak began in the UK.

The ONS suggested that the sharp rise in use among older people could be partly related to the effects of the beginning of the pandemic, as millions of people began to head online to stay in touch.

However, the figures should not be used as an overall indicator of its impact, the ONS said.

It explained that the data was gathered between January and March 2020, just as the coronavirus outbreak began in the UK.

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