Two-Thirds Hit the Net

Americans are becoming connected to the Internet again after a stagnant period, according to the latest data from Harris Interactive that puts Internet usage at 66 percent among adults. This figure, based on a Harris Poll telephone survey of 2,038 adults in February and March of 2002, represents an increase of 10 million from November 2001 (127 million to 137 million).

This modest growth in the Internet population comes after a six-month period, from spring 2001 until fall 2001, without a visible increase. The pause during that period is attributed to a slowing economy and the collapse of the dot-com investment bubble.

Of the two-thirds of online adult Americans, 55 percent access the Internet from home, while 30 percent surf at work. Almost one-in-five adults go online from a school, library, cyber cafe or other location, and some people are online from two or more places.

The recent Harris research also revealed that adult Internet users spent an average of 8 hours per week online, up from 7 hours in 2001, 2000 and 1999. Another notable increase was seen as women overtook men as the majority of online users at 51 percent. Previously, the figures were reversed with women at 49 percent of the U.S. Internet population in the November 2001 poll.

Other significant areas of change from the November 2001 findings are a decrease in Internet users over 65, and a dip in the Black and Hispanic online population.


Profile of U.S. Online Population
(February-March 2002)
Adults
Online
All
Adults
Age
18 to 29 28% 22%
30 to 39 23% 22%
40 to 49 23% 20%
50 to 64 24% 18%
65+ 5% 16%
Gender
Men 49% 48%
Women 51% 52%
Race/Ethnicity
White 76% 76%
Black 12% 12%
Hispanic 9% 10%
Education
High school or less 37% 52%
Some College 31% 26%
College grad/post grad 32% 22%
Household Income
$25,000 or less 18% 25%
$25,001 to $50,000 25% 29%
$50,001 and over 46% 32%
Source: Harris Interactive


U.S. Adults Online
Year Adults
Online
In Millions
2002 66% 137
2001 64% 127
2000 63% 121
1999 56% 113
1998 35% 70
1997 30% 59
1996 19% 33
1995 9% 17.5
Source: Harris Interactive

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