Starting Junior High seems to be the moment when most teens who were not previously online get connected. About 60% of the 6th graders in our sample reported using the Internet. By 7th grade, this number jumps to 82% of teens who are online. From there, the percentage of internet users in the teen population for each grade climbs steadily before topping out at 94% for all 11th and 12th graders. Much of the lag among 6th graders appears to come from boys. Less than half (44%) of 6th grade boys report going online, compared to 79% of 6th grade girls.
Older teens, aged 15-17, go online more frequently than younger teens. Some 59% of wired teens aged 15-17 go online once a day or more, while 43% of younger teens report going online that frequently. By comparison, 11% of 12- to 14-year-olds say they go online every few weeks, compared to just 6% of older teens.
Only 6% of 6th graders go online several times a day compared to one-quarter (25%) of 8th graders and close to 2 in 5 (39%) 12th graders. On the other side of the use spectrum, one in five (20%) of 6th graders go online just every few weeks compared to a mere 8% of 8th graders and 5% of high school seniors.