Poll Shows 77% of US Adults Are Now Online

Ceiling? What ceiling?

MAY 30, 2006 – A number of analysts and pundits have said that the US Internet population has peaked, that due to socio-economic factors the proportion of users to non-users really cannot increase. But according to new a Harris Interactive poll, they are wrong.

According to the Harris estimates, the number of Internet users in the US reached 172 million in April 2005, a 5.5% increase over the previous year.

eMarketer’s own projections picture the US Internet population exhibiting strong growth through to the end of the decade, both in overall numbers and in proportion to non-users.

Harris calculated that 77% of US adults are now online, and that is up from 74% in 2005, 66% in 2002, 64% in 2001 and 57% in 2000.

In 1995, when Harris first began tracking Internet use, only 9% of US adults were online.

Not surprisingly, as the proportion of Internet users rises, the Internet user profile more closely mirrors the US population as a whole. Although still skewing more young than old, and more affluent than low-income, 8% of the online population is now 65+, 39% did attend not college and 14% have incomes below $25,000.

The proportion of adults who are now online at home has risen to 70%, while the percentage of those online at work has barely changed (35% now, 36% in 2005). Adults who go online at a location other than home or work have also remained relatively steady (22% now, 21% in 2005)

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