Cell phones and internet advance in Brazilian homes; TV and computer fall


From 2019 to 2021, the percentages of households with internet use and mobile phone presence increased in Brazil, while the percentages of households with television, computer and tablet decreased.

The conclusions are a module of the Pnad Contínua (Continuous National Household Sample Survey) released this Friday (16) by the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics).

According to the study, the proportion of households where there was internet use reached 90% (65.6 million) of the total (72.9 million) in 2021. The share is equivalent to an increase of 6 percentage points compared to 2019 ( 84%), before the start of the pandemic in the country.

The advance was more intense in the rural area, although the percentage remained below the one verified in the city.

In the countryside, the percentage of households with internet use jumped from 57.8% to 74.7% from 2019 to 2021. Meanwhile, in the urban area, the indicator rose from 88.1% to 92.3%, above the overall average.

The growth, says the IBGE, occurred in all major regions, especially in the Northeast. Despite the increase of 9.4 percentage points in the period, the region continued with the lowest percentage of households with connection (85.2%).

Cell phones were the most used equipment to access the network, in 99.5% of households with some type of signal. Then came television (44.4%), which for the first time surpassed the microcomputer (42.2%).

According to the IBGE, the share of Brazilian households with cell phones increased from 94.4% in 2019 to 96.3% in 2021.

However, the institute points out that, for the first time in the historical series, which began in 2016, the proportion of households with access to fixed broadband exceeded the proportion of those with mobile internet (3G or 4G).

The fixed signal rose from 78% to 83.5% of homes with a connection. The moving slice, on the other hand, dropped from 81.2% to 79.2%.

According to the IBGE, the increase in fixed broadband may be associated with the dynamics of the pandemic. The health crisis left Brazilians at home for longer, which made mobile internet less demanded.

Another possible factor to explain the context, says the institute, is the expansion of access in the North. The percentage of households with a fixed broadband connection in this region had a significant increase: from 54.7% in 2019 to 70.5% in 2021.

TV, computer and tablet have low

In the same period, the number of Brazilian homes with TV sets even increased, from 68.4 million to 69.6 million. However, the proportion of households with the equipment, in relation to the total number of addresses, dropped from 96.2% to 95.5%.

The total number of homes was 71.1 million in 2019. It rose to 72.9 million in 2021.

Last year, 27.8% of households with television had access to pay-TV services. There was a drop compared to 2019, when the percentage was 30.3%.

The reasons given for not having pay TV were: lack of interest (45.6%), expensive service (43.5%), substitution by internet videos (8.7%) and unavailable option (1.2% ).

The IBGE also points out that the percentage of households with microcomputers dropped from 41.4% to 40.7% from 2019 to 2021. All major regions recorded percentages below 50%.

The Northeast had the lowest proportion with microcomputers last year: 24.9%. The highest was found in the South: 49.3%.

The percentage of households with a tablet also decreased in the country. It fell from 11.6% in 2019 to 9.9% in 2021.

The most recent survey data were investigated by the IBGE in the fourth quarter of 2021. The series was interrupted in 2020 due to restrictions caused by the pandemic on data collection. Therefore, the survey comparisons focus on the transition from 2019 to 2021.

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