Of the top 12 states in the US — based on the number of Internet users in each state — Florida was the fastest growing in 1997, according to a nationwide Internet usage survey commissioned by CommerceNet, the industry consortium for electronic commerce. The survey was conducted by Nielsen Media Research.
California was still the number one state in terms of the total number of Internet users, with 6.4 million individuals over age 16. That’s more than 12 percent of the total US Internet population. Between January and September of 1997, Florida’s Internet population is estimated to have grown by 72 percent to nearly 3 million users, or approximately five times the national average.
The top 12 states in the US — led by California and New York — accounted for 61 percent of all Internet users in January 1997. When the survey was repeated in September 1997, the top 12 states, still led by California (6.4 million Internet users) and New York (3.7 million users), accounted for 58% of all Internet users.
When ranking all U.S. states by the size of their Internet population, the top third of Internet states represented 69 percent of all users in September, compared with 72 percent in January, while the second third jumped to 24 from 20.5 percent and the last third declined slightly to 7 percent from 7.5, again indicating a more widespread distribution of Internet users in the United States.
At about 30 percent, California’s overall Internet penetration is lower than that of states such as Washington or Utah. In addition to Florida, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin’s Internet population increased substantially faster than that of California.
The top 12 states in the Fall of 1997 had a combined number of over 30 million Internet users. California, New York, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Illinois were each estimated to have at least 2 million Internet users, while Ohio, Virginia, Washington, Michigan, New Jersey and North Carolina were estimated to have reached the 1.5 million users mark.
What all these numbers mean is that the Internet is becoming more geographically widespread, and is more than just a Silicon Valley phenomena.