BRITONS spend more than £1,000 a year each shopping online – more than any other country.
New research reveals the amount of money spent on internet shopping shot up by 14 per cent to £1,083 last year, compared with £950 in 2010.
Australians rank second at £842 per head, with Sweden third at £747, according to a survey by communications regulator Ofcom.
Its report also found that the average UK viewer watches just over four hours (242 minutes) of television every day, with only the US (293 minutes) and Italy (253 minutes) watching more.
And the study showed that 62 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds and 40 per cent of UK adults use their mobile phones to visit social networking sites, more than any other country.
UK consumers are also more likely to access TV shows over the internet – 23 per cent of UK internet users do so every week compared with 17 per cent in the US.
The UK also one of the highest proportions of homes (41 per cent) with high-definition TV, while 15 per cent of UK consumers say they own a smart TV, enabling access to online services, according to Ofcom’s International Communications Market Report.
For the first time, UK consumers are downloading more data on their mobiles and tablets than any other major nation.
The UK has one of the highest penetrations of smartphones, at 58 per cent, while 19 per cent have a tablet computer.
Only 37 per cent use a desktop computer as their most frequent means of accessing the internet.
Half use a laptop most often to connect to the internet, while 6 per cent prefer smartphones and the same proportion other devices.
One sixth of all website traffic in the UK was on a mobile, tablet or other device, higher than any other country in Europe.
Ofcom’s director of research James Thickett said: “We have always been a nation of TV lovers, and our research shows that UK consumers are world leaders in using the latest TV technology. “By catching up on programmes online or using smart TVs, the UK public is finding new ways to enhance their viewing experience.
“Our research reveals that the UK leads the way in using the internet on the move.
“Increasingly, it is mobile devices like smartphones and tablets that are driving this growing demand for data – and in the UK it seems to be social networking sites that are behind this in particular.
“We have a long history of catalogue shopping in the UK and, as many daily activities are increasingly carried out online, the internet has become the new destination for many shoppers.”
As well as the UK, Ofcom surveyed 16 other countries – France, Germany, Italy, the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Ireland, Poland, Brazil, Russia, India and China – for its research.