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73% of Americans online

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Sunday April 30, 2006 )

Internet penetration is now at 73% of all American adults. Users are noticing major improvements in relation to online shopping, their pursuit of hobbies and personal interests while on the web.

In a recently released Pew Internet and American Life project, double the number of online Americans state that shopping via the web has greatly improved since March 2001 – 32%.

33% have stated that great improvements have also been made in the way they pursue hobbies and other pursuits – up from 20% in March 2001.

The positive impact of the web in relation to job related tasks has also seen a similar results, with 35% stating the Internet has improved greatly in the last 5 years.

I’d be extremely concerned if the case were otherwise given the myriad of advances in various web technologies :).

There’s an estimated 147 million US adults currently online, up from approximately 133 million in January 2005. Of those, 42% have broadband connections from home, up from 29% in January 2005.

The age bracket breakdown of adults who are online:

– 88% of those aged 18-29
– 84% of those aged 30-49
– 71% of those aged 50-64
– 32% of those aged 65 and older

So the 65 and older age bracket is still the tough nut to crack, but as those in the 50-64 range move into the upper age bracket in the years ahead, that’s sure to change substantially. Assimilation will be pretty much complete :).

As expected, people in the lowest income household are less likely to be online – only 53% of those with total annual income of $30,000 or less have access to the Internet from home. This is a great shame as I’m sure that those people could benefit greatly from access.

If the Pew survey is accurate, there is *still* a substantial number of people on dialup connections – this really should be taken into consideration when developing sites and I really don’t think that just because someone is on dialup it means they don’t have cash to spend online. I’m continually surprised at the number of people I come across who are financially stable, but continue to maintain a dialup connection.

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Read more of the Pew Internet penetration and impact report (pdf)


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