Toddlers Fastest Growing Video Gaming Population

With growth across the board, the number of gamers between 2 and 5 years old jumped 17 percent since 2009.

They grow up so fast.

More and more small children are taking to video games, according to the latest report from market research firm NPD Group.

Findings in the 2011 Kids and Gaming U.S. census, released October 11, show the percentage of children between the ages of 2 and 5 who use video games has increased by 17 percent since 2009. That makes it the fastest growing segment in the report, which considers children ages 2-17.

An overall growth of 12.68 percent was recorded in children who game, compared to the 1.54 percent increase in the overall population of the group.

“Year-to-date through August 2011, kids comprised 44 percent of new physical software dollar sales, representing a vitally important consumer segment for the games industry,” says NPD Group industry annalist Anita Frazier. “Knowing how kids are spending their gaming time and dollars in both traditional and non-traditional outlets is key to staying relevant to this highly engaged audience.”

As for those outlets, the platforms which received the most marked increase in use were mobile devices, such as tablets and smart phones, and personal computers.

Approximately 64 million children use video games in the U.S., 91 percent of the entire 2-17 population. Other noticeably growing segments of the group include females and teens between 15 and 17.