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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Half of Internet Users Get News Online

About 38 percent of Russian households are hooked up to the Internet, compared with just 4 percent eight years ago, and nearly half of all Internet users now get their news online, a survey said Tuesday.

The typical Internet user lives in Moscow or St. Petersburg — where 68 percent of households are online — and is aged 18 to 24, well-educated and middle- or upper-class, according to the survey by the state-run VTsIOM pollster.

The number of users getting news from the Internet has risen to 48 percent, a slight increase from 44 percent in 2006, the survey said.

Internet remains about the only unrestricted place to find news. All national television channels are controlled by the state, and independent-minded newspapers have relatively low circulation.

Twenty-three percent of the poll's 1,600 respondents said they log on daily, a significant increase from 5 percent in 2006, while 60 percent of respondents do not use the Internet at all. Four years ago, their share was 76 percent.

Online social networks showed the biggest increase in users in the past four years, from 20 percent to 39 percent, followed by web sites offering downloads of films, music and books, from 20 percent to 38 percent.

The share of those who use the Internet for work and studies dropped from 77 percent to 58 percent.

The margin of error for the poll, conducted in late March, was 3.4 percentage points.