Report: 44 Million Adults Now using Internet

Approximately 44 million U.S. adults–23% of the adult population–currently use the Internet, according to the Spring 1998 Cyber Stats report from Mediamark Research Inc. in New York.

This represents a 260% increase in the six years that MRI has been tracking America’s use of cyberspace.

“Whether at home or at the workplace, the Web audience has grown at double-digit rates for each of the past six years,” said Alain Tessier, chairman and chief executive officer of MRI. “This has been especially true over the past three years, with 35% more U.S. households owning PCs.”

Interestingly, the study found that at-home usage of the Internet had trailed the workplace until two years ago. Now at-home usage exceeds the workplace by 26%. Some 27.6 million people are estimated to have accessed the Net from home versus 20.4 million from work.

MRI said it is able to distinguish between at-home and at-work usage because its surveys are conducted face-to-face in respondents’ homes, with no intrusion into the workplace.

The results from Spring 1998 Cyber Stats are from an average 30-day period within the survey time frame (March 1997-February 1998).

“Consumers are incorporating the Internet into their daily home media habits, as evidenced by the increasing number of residential users,” said Scott Turner, vice president of regional sales for MRI. “For the past two years, access to and use of the Web at home has outpaced use of the Internet at work.”

Other findings include:

  • Men still use the Internet and online services more than women (54% vs. 46%), but the growth rate of women has been steadily rising while male use has been declining since 1995.
  • The largest sector–about 49%–of adult users are ages 35-54. Younger adults, ages 18-34, represent 43% of users.
  • In terms of household income, the largest group of users (32.5%) falls within the category of $75,000-$149,000.

MRI collects and analyzes information on consumer demographics, product and brand usage, and exposure to all forms of advertising media. MRI said its data is used by magazines, television and other media, by some 450 advertising agencies.

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