Nielsen has released the results of a study into mobile phone usage by various age groups. While the study shows a rise in data usage across the board, the greatest increase was in the 13-17 age group. In the third quarter of 2010, teens in this group used an average of 90 MB of data per month. In this year’s third quarter they used a whopping 320 MB of data, a rise of 256%. While the increase was most dramatic among teens, every age group showed an increase. The next greatest increase was 147% in the 18-24 age bracket. Only one group – the 45-54 age bracket – showed an increase of less than 100%.
The use of text messaging is highest among teens – particularly female teens – as well. Teens sent an average of 3,417 SMS/MMS messages per month in the third quarter of this year, with girls sending an average of nearly 200 more messages than boys.
Interestingly, voice usage is actually down among teens, who say they find messaging faster, easier, and more fun that voice calling. The study shows they used an average of just over 100 fewer minutes this year than in the same period last year.
These results are part of Nielsen’s broader State of the Media: The Mobile Media Report Q3 2011 (PDF). Another part of the study focused on smartphone ownership and app usage across various age groups. They found that the majority of people in the 18-24 (53%) and 24-34 (64%) age groups owned smartphones. Meanwhile 40% of the 13-17 age group owned smartphones, a number which surely contributed to the dramatic increase in data usage in the same age bracket. The study also found and that 62% of smartphone owners had downloaded apps within the past 30 days.