According to research from The NPD Group, gaming growth among children under age 17 is speeding up. The population of kids ages 2 to 17 increased 1.5% in the US since 2009, the researcher reported, while the gaming population of that age group has grown almost 13% during the same period. This year, 91% of children and teens will play video games, up from 82% in 2009.
The growth in gaming may be partially due to increased usage of smartphones and other mobile devices by children and teens. The NPD Group study indicates that the share of kids and teens playing mobile games climbed 30 percentage points from 2009 to 2011. eMarketer estimates that 15% of children under 11 currently own a mobile phone—that number will rise to 22% by 2015.
In addition to children owning their own mobile devices, parents are also likely to share their own personal mobile devices with their children—even downloading games and other programs to keep the child occupied. According to data from BlogHer and The Parenting Group, one in three Generation Y moms has given her child access to a smartphone or mobile phone before the age of two.