Kazakhstan Internet

With all of the activity in Kazakhstan right now, I wanted to pull some findings from a conference paper/ article in submission about Central Asian Internet. (I can’t post the entire paper while it is still in submission – sorry!) If you have questions or are interested in more detailed analysis, contact me and I’d be happy to do what I can.

Here’s Kazakh Internet penetration according to the ITU (which frequent readers know I’m not a fan of because it uses the telecom companies’ information to determine adoption):

Internet Adopters (% of population that have ever used) (ITU Development Index, 2011)

2004

2.65%

2005

2.96%

2006

3.27%

2007

4.02%

2008

11.00%

2009

18.20%

2010

34.00%

And here’s the data from the paper, national, from spring 2011:

Aware of Internet

80%

Of total, Adopted Internet

50%

Of total, Use Internet

Never

66%

Less than monthly

2%

Monthly

3%

Weekly

10%

Daily

19%

In all of my work I emphasize the importance of ‘frequent use’ as a more salient category of Internet use than ‘ever’ used.

FINDINGS:

In our paper, we model antecedents to Internet awareness, adoption (ever used), and frequent use.

In Kazakhstan, the strongest determinants (in order from strongest) of AWARENESS that the Internet exists were: age, urbanness, education, and economic wellbeing (although economic wellbeing wasn’t strong – statistically significant, but not as strong as the others). (This model explained 13% of the variance in awareness.)

In plain English this means that younger people, more urban people, those with more education, and those with more wealth are more likely to be in the 80% that know what the Internet is.

The strongest determinants (in order from strongest) of ADOPTION (ever having used) were age, economic wellbeing, urbanness, and education. (And this model was set up to control for the effect of these variables on awareness first…) (This model explained 33% of the variance in Internet adoption.)

In plain English this means that younger people, wealthier people, more urban people, and those with more education are more likely to be in the 50% that have ever used the Internet.

The strongest determinants (in order from strongest) of FREQUENT USE were age, urbannesses, and education. Economic wellbeing wasn’t a significant factor, but I’d imagine that the economic barrier exists more at the ‘ever used’ stage and once you’ve gotten over that, frequent use isn’t as much of a cost issue. (This model explained (a whopping!) 49% of the variance in use. (This is really high.))

In plain English this means that younger people, more urban people, and those with more education are more likely to be in the 29% that use the Internet frequently (at least weekly).

So what are Kazakhs doing online?

Of those that are online at least weekly,  85% do email, 77% read news (as a side note, this is quite high compared to what I’ve found in my work in the rest of Central Asia and the Caucasus), 73% are on social networking sites (this is normal compared to the Caucasus) (47% on Odnoklassniki, 43% on vKontake, 14% on Facebook, 7% on Twitter), ~40% interact with blogs (this is very high compared to the rest of Central Asia and the Caucasus), and 23% watch YouTube.

Access points vary.  2/3rd get online via the own PC, most at home (60% of frequent users). Public places are less common that home — 44% at work, 33% at school, 33% at a cafe on a public computer, 35% at a cafe with their own laptop. Mobile Internet is used by 55% of frequent users.

For what it is worth, the Kazakhstan Internet landscape is very different from the rest of Central Asia and the Caucasus — demographically and in the activities engaged in.

Regional differences in mean of accessing the Internet

Based on data from the Armenian Media landscape report, here are the regional breakdowns of means of accessing the Internet in Armenia (in early 2011).

You can see that for the country as a whole, most Internet users are personal computer based – although mobile is not insignificant. In the capital, PC dominates, but for rural users, mobile is catching up to PC. And those mobile users are often NEW users.

In an upcoming study we discuss how much the way people access the Internet influences what they actually do once they’re online as well as the demographic differences between those that use a PC and those that use a mobile phone as their primary Internet access device.

This is the entire country.

This is Yerevan.

This is regional cities.

This is rural areas.

(All images by Janine Slaker)

 OF ALL ARMENIAN INTERNET USERS

Total

Yerevan

Regional city

Rural

N = 420

N = 215

N = 145

N = 60

Mobile Internet access

15%

10%

19%

28%

PC-based Internet access

71%

73%

77%

62%

Both mobile and
PC based Internet access

11%

17%

4%

10%

 OF ALL ARMENIANS

Total

Yerevan

Regional city

Rural

N = 1420

N = 504

N = 443

N = 473

No Internet access 70%

57%

67%

87%

Mobile Internet access

5%

4%

6%

4%

PC-based Internet access

22%

31%

25%

8%

Both mobile and
PC based Internet access

3%

7%

1%

1%