It was the lowest figure since the institute began collecting data in 2011.
The number has been in a downfall from 77.9 percent in 2011 to 72.8 percent in 2012, 67.1 percent in 2013, 66.9 percent in 2014, 64.8 percent in 2015, 61.6 percent in 2016 and 55.2 percent in 2017.
In the same period, those who own a laptop increased to 27 percent, up by 0.4 percent from 2017. Those who own a tablet PC also was on the rise, to 8.4 percent from 7.5 percent in 2017.
Last year showed the highest number of mobile phone ownership of those above 6 years old, at 95.8 percent. Of them, 90.9 percent said they own a smartphone.
The survey also found that people spend an average of 1 hour and 56 minutes on their mobile phones a day, almost an hour longer than in 2011. Only 5 minutes and 35 seconds used on wired telephones, almost eight minutes less than in 2011.
The data also showed that nearly half of South Koreans use social network service. The country’s social media usage rate came to 48.2 percent last year, up 2.4 percent from the previous year.
While a report from the US-based Pew Research Center said last year that Korea had the highest smartphone penetration rate among 27 countries surveyed at 95 percent, the report said the country’s high use of smartphones can be attributed to the high internet penetration rate, which was the highest figure among countries surveyed at 96 percent.
By Kim Da-sol (email@example.com)