Five US Cities Reach 50 Percent Internet Penetration

Five US cities have reached 50 percent Internet penetration among the adult population, according to research conducted by Scarborough Research.

“Reaching the 50 percent threshold is a significant milestone for the Internet as it continues to mature into a mainstream medium,” said Scarborough President Bob Cohen. “It’s also noteworthy that we continue to see notable differences in Internet usage on a local market level, indicating that technological innovation is impacted by the interplay of local demographics, cultural, retail, and media dynamics.”

The five cities that have passed the 50 percent level include Washington, DC (59.9 percent); San Francisco (56.1 percent); Austin, TX (55.5 percent); Seattle (53.3 percent), and Salt Lake City (50 percent).

Scarborough measured Internet usage over a one-year period from both home and work for its findings. The data was compiled from February 1998 to February 1999 from the Scarborough 12-month database. More than 170,000 interviews from adults age 18 and over were conducted in 64 leading US markets.

Internet Penetration in 64 US Markets
Market Percent of
adults online
Washington, DC 59.9
San Francisco 56.1
Austin, TX 55.5
Seattle/Tacoma 53.3
Salt Lake City 50.0
Dallas/Ft. Worth 49.6
Denver 49.0
Houston 48.8
Los Angeles 48.7
Norfolk/Newport News 48.5
Portland, OR 48.1
San Diego 46.8
Sacramento/Stockton 46.3
Kansas City 46.1
Boston 46.0
Providence/New Bedford 46.0
Baltimore 45.7
Raleigh/Durham, NC 45.7
Syracuse 45.5
Atlanta 45.1
Minneapolis/St. Paul 45.0
Chicago 44.8
New York 43.7
Phoenix 43.4
Albany/Troy, NY 43.1
Jacksonville, FL 43.1
Indianapolis 42.3
Las Vegas 41.8
Miami/Ft. Lauderdale 41.8
Philadelphia 41.5
Columbus, OH 41.1
Hartford/New Haven 40.9
St. Louis 40.8
New Orleans 40.5
Grand Rapids, MI 40.5
Orlando/Daytona/MLB 40.3
Oklahoma City 39.7
Greensboro/W. Salem, NC 39.7
Des Moines, IA 39.2
Harrisburg/York, PA 39.2
Milwaukee, WI 38.9
Detroit 38.8
Albuquerque/Santa Fe, NM 38.4
Cleveland 37.3
Greenville, SC 37.1
Lexington, KY 37.0
West Palm Beach, FL 36.9
Tampa/St. Petersburg 36.7
Charlotte 36.7
Memphis, TN 36.1
Buffalo, NY 35.9
Knoxville, TN 35.9
Cincinnati, OH 35.8
Nashville, TN 35.8
Fresno/Visalia, CA 35.8
Louisville, KY 35.5
Dayton, OH 34.6
San Antonio, TX 34.2
Wichita/Hutchinson, KS 32.8
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA 32.8
Charleston/Huntington, WV 32.4
Birmingham, AL 32.2
Tulsa, OK 32.2
Pittsburgh, PA 30.8
Source: Scarborough Research

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