Larger Canadian households are more likely to have home Internet access than people who live alone, according to a new study by Statistics Canada.
Overall, 79 per cent of households across the country had Internet service in 2010, with higher rates in cities than in rural areas.
In the study released Wednesday, Statscan found a majority of households used more than one type of device - such as a desktop computer and a smart phone.
"We're seeing a real diversity in the technologies that are being used to go online," said Ben Veenhof, a Statscan analyst.
But just 58 per cent of Canadians who live alone had online access at home, compared to 93 per cent of households with three or more people or those with at least one child.
Internet access also varied considerably by income. Ninety-seven per cent of Canadian families with incomes of $87,000 or more had the Internet at home, while just 54 per cent of households earning less than $30,000 had access.
"That's where we see some of the largest differences," Mr. Veenhof said. "There's a significant gap there."
Statscan also found that 81 per cent of Canadians living in cities were online at home, compared with 71 per cent of those in small towns and rural areas.
The reasons that respondents had not signed up for Internet service varied, with more than half reporting they had no need or interest and 20 per cent citing cost.
The findings are based on a survey of about 30,000 households. Statistics Canada redesigned its Internet survey for 2010 and cautioned against directly comparing findings from previous years.
However, a different Statscan study illustrates the trend of greater Internet access at home: In 1997, 17 per cent of Canadian households were online, compared to 78 per cent in 2009.