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Men Still Dominate Worldwide Internet Use

  |  January 22, 2002   |  Comments

The number of female at-home Internet users in the United States grew faster than the overall Internet population when it jumped 9 percent in December 2001, but outside the United States and Canada it remains a different story.

The number of female at-home Internet users in the United States grew faster than the overall Internet population when it jumped 9 percent in December 2001, but outside the United States and Canada it remains a different story.

According to Nielsen//NetRatings, the 9 percent growth rate for women compares to 6 percent year-over-year for the total Internet population in the United States. Females accounted for 52 percent, or 55.0 million Internet users at home. The male online population rose 3 percent, from 48.2 million to 49.8 million Internet users.

American men still spend more time online than women, Nielsen//NetRatings found. In December 2001, men spent 24 percent more time online at home than women, averaging 11 hours (a 17 percent increase from a year ago). Females access the Internet, on average, 17 times in December 2001, a 13 percent increase from a year earlier. Men viewed 40 more pages on average than women, 801 pages versus 573 pages.

"Men spent more time online, logged on more often and accessed more content than women, despite being out-numbered by the female Internet population by more than 5.2 million surfers," said Dawn Brozek, senior Internet analyst at NetRatings. "Generally speaking, women shoulder a majority of the household responsibilities and therefore face a 'time poverty' at home, with less leisure time than men to spend on activities such as surfing the Internet."

Internet Usage Patterns by Gender
Dec. 2001, U.S. At-Home Users

Dec. 2000 Dec. 2001
Males Females Males Females
Avg. Time Spent
9:42:14 7:44:57 11:20:27 9:06:51
Number of Sessions 18 15 21 17
Avg. Pages Viewed 667 503 801 573
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings

When Nielsen//NetRatings examined the demographics of the top sites in its Global Index, visitors from outside the United States and Canada skewed the numbers to make them predominantly male.

"With the exception of the U.S. and Canada, the Internet population in every country Nielsen//NetRatings measures is predominantly male," said Richard Goosey, chief of measurement science and analytics at Nielsen//NetRatings. "The proportions of the audiences for these top properties are often heavily male, going well beyond the general male to female proportion of the overall population. However, the gender proportion for each property in the Americas region is more balances, reflecting the strong female audiences in the U.S. and Canada."

Gender of Top Property Visitors by Region
(Nov. 2001)

Percent of Visitors
Property Gender Global Americas Asia-Pacific Europe Emerging
Yahoo Male 54% 49% 57% 64% 64%
Female 46% 51% 43% 36% 36%
MSN2 Male 54% 48% 58% 62% 62%
Female 46% 52% 42% 38% 38%
AOL Time Warner Male 52% 49% 57% 63% 66%
Female 48% 51% 43% 37% 34%
Microsoft Male 60% 53% 61% 69% 68%
Female 40% 47% 39% 31% 32%
Lycos Network Male 59% 53% 57% 66% 71%
Female 41% 47% 43% 34% 29%
Google Male 59% 52% 62% 67% 70%
Female 41% 48% 38% 33% 30%
Amazon Male 51% 44% 61% 63% 62%
Female 49% 56% 39% 37% 38%
About-Primedia Male 54% 48% 61% 72% 67%
Female 46% 52% 39% 28% 33%
eBay Male 58% 53% 63% 70% NA
Female 42% 47% 37% 30% NA
CNET Networks Male 68% 61% 72% 81% 76%
Female 32% 39% 28% 19% 24%
1 Israel, South Africa & India
2 Does not include NineMSN T1MSN, XtraMSN
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings

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