Student statistics

Who were the students who took part in the world Unplugged study? The dozen universities that took part in this study asked their students to fill out an online survey to gather demographic data.  Close to 600 surveys were collected from the nearly 1,000 students who took part in the world Unplugged study.

The charts below outline those demographic findings.  Clicking on the individual charts will open them in a larger scale.

(To see more charts that compare usage across countries, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.)

Two-thirds of the respondents were women; one-third men

Two out of five students reported that were between the ages of 19-20


Two-thirds of respondents reported that they were in their first or second year in university

Students reported their ancestry – they were broadly representative of all regions of the world.


70 percent of students went to high schools where English was the primary language of instruction

Languages in the high schools of the 7 percent who said they were taught in a language other than English, Chinese or Spanish (see chart on left)


Almost two-thirds of students said they spoke English fluently; many students reported they spoke more than one language fluently

Languages of the 14 percent who reported that they spoke a language other than English, Chinese and Spanish fluently (see chart on left)


Over half of students said they were brought up as Christians; one-third said they were brought up in a non-religious household.


Students reported that 62 percent of their fathers have some higher education

Students reported that 62 percent of their mothers have some higher education


All students reported owning a mobile phone. Almost a third received their first phone when they were younger than 12

86 percent of students reported that they own an mp3 music player (iPod)


Half of all students reported that they own a 'smartphone' – a phone that can surf the Internet

Almost half of all students who have smartphones received them at age 17-18


95 percent of students reported they own a laptop computer

Almost one in five students reported that they first used a computer when they were 5 or younger


Over half of all students reported that they began surfing the Internet when they were 10 or younger

Over a third of all students reported that they spend more than 5 hours online a day. (To judge by their narrative reports, that is undercounting their hours, as many, for example, use push technology to get email, Facebook and Twitter messages to their phones)



The charts on this page and elsewhere on the site were designed by Sergei Golitsinski. The demographic data were derived from a SurveyMonkey survey.

Special thanks to Eric Villard for early versions of the demographic charts.