Britain is world's leader in computer literacy

Britain leads the world in home and school computer use, according to the 1997 European Computer Literacy Report.

Commissioned by Olivetti Personal Computers the report states that Britain has the highest computer to student ratio anywhere. A third of British homes have a computer, equal with Belgium and besting the US where 28 per cent of homes give house space to a computer.

Based on a survey of 2,000 British schoolchildren, the research found that UK home usage is soaring - up 45 per cent in under two years. They're also wired: nearly a fifth boast Internet access, and the same proportion have two computers.

"For the second year running, Britain is ahead of the world in terms of computer use which means an increasingly computer literate population," said David Steers, one of the report's lead researchers. "Britain's primary and secondary school pupils have greater access to IT than those in other European countries, the U.S., Canada and Japan."

Other interesting data:

Britain is the only country to have at least one computer in every primary school. In Germany the total is less than 10 per cent.

More than £1 billion has been spent on IT in schools since 1979.

About a fifth of all children spend two hours or more every day computing and almost one in five children turn on a computer rather than a TV after school.

The average child with a computer at home spends around 11 hours a week using it.

Ownership continues to be highest in the South East and East Anglia.