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Evidence Base

Orig. title: KIM-Studie 2018: Basisuntersuchung zum Medienumgang 6- bis 13-Jähriger in Deutschland

Engl. transl.: KIM 2018: Study of the media use of 6- to 13-year-olds in Germany


Kids Children Media Internet Media use Digitalization Learning

Publication details

Year: 2019
Issued: 2019
Language: German
Authors: Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund Südwest
Type: Report and working paper
Publisher: Medienpädagogischer Forschungsverbund
Place: Stuttgart
Topics: Internet usage, practices and engagement; Learning; Literacy and skills
Sample: For the KIM study 2018, a total of 1,231 German-speaking children between the ages of six and 13 were interviewed personally and verbally (CAPI) at home between 24 May and 30 June 2018. Since 2016, kindergarten children have also been included in the KIM study, provided they are six years old at the time of the survey. In parallel to the questioning of the children, the interviews with the primary educators take place with a self-filling questionnaire (paper & pencil) on the media use of the interviewed child, their own media behavior and attitudes towards media topics. In addition to recording the basic data, such as the duration and frequency of media use, household equipment and leisure activities, the use of smartphones and the Internet are analyzed in detail. One focus of the KIM study 2018 is the consideration of the use of moving images, i.e. how in the family - together or alone - linear television as well as series, films and programs are used on the Internet. The field work and data checking were carried out by the IFAK Institute Taunusstein. The selection process was based on a quota procedure. The sample points were stratified according to federal state and type of municipality (BIK location size classes) and randomly selected. Within the sample points, the respondents were selected on the basis of quota specifications with the characteristics gender x age, gender x age x federal state and type of municipality (BIK) x federal state according to the currently available data from the Federal Statistical Office. The results are therefore representative for six to 13-year-olds in Germany. (KIM Study 2018, p.3)


Almost all children (98%) have the potential to use the Internet at home. A good two thirds of all six to 13 year olds say they are internet users. A good third of the six to seven year olds use the Internet at least rarely, and between the ages of eight and nine, just under three out of five children are online. Between the ages of ten and eleven, four out of five children are Internet users, and among those aged between twelve and 13, 94 percent, almost all children use online services. When looking at regular (at least once a week) activities on the Internet, research using search engines (65%), sending WhatsApp messages (62%) and YouTube videos (56%) are the most frequently mentioned occupations of Internet users. Almost a third listens to music regularly on the Internet. In the course of a week, one in four people uses Facebook or Wikipedia or sends e-mails. One fifth (21%) are at least a weekly Snapchat user, 17 percent use Instagram regularly. TV shows are viewed by 16 percent over the Internet, twelve percent use (now TikTok). The use of social media offers is particularly relevant for older children. WhatsApp is of central importance in everyday life. This particularly affects children from the age of ten; 73 percent of ten to eleven year olds and 83 percent of twelve to 13 year old internet users use WhatsApp every day (6-7 years: 17%, 8-9 years: 36%). Overall, based on all children surveyed, every third child states that they use this messenger every or almost every day. (Source:


The results of the 2018 KIM study demonstrate that despite the highly dynamic nature of the media landscape, ordinary media usage in the day-to-day lives of school-aged children is by and large characterised by a high degree of stability. New video formats and distribution channels or the dynamically developing social media platforms used by teenagers and young adults are mostly of interest to older children only; these technologies are still being used by only a fraction of younger children. Overall, watching television still plays the most prominent role when it comes to media usage, and the importance of YouTube and other online-based video services is increasing amongst children as well. Starting at around age ten in particular, there is a significant increase in the use of streaming services, and the same goes for the relevance of communication via social media as a regular part of children’s lives. The latter is mostly used to communicate with friends, classmates, and also amongst family members. It also follows that the media consumption habits of parents and the media options available to children at home play an important role when considering the media usage of children. The permanent availability of such a wide variety of options for using video, games, and photos and for communication and interaction thus represents a major challenge for children and for their parents. (KIM Study 2018, p. 88)

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