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News April 28, 2006
David Utter Friday Apr 28, 2006

 
Nearly Everyone Uses The Internet

Shopping, working, and pursuing personal interests have improved greatly as experiences for the typical Internet user continue to benefit from faster access and new interface technologies.
 
Editor's Note: If you're reading this, then you're likely in the 73 percent of adults using the Internet. Do you think a "killer application" exists, just waiting to be developed that make the Internet an absolute necessity? Do you think it's here already? Tell us what it is at WebProWorld.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project recently released a report on Internet usage by adults in the United States. While the report by Pew research specialist Mary Madden carries the unfortunate name* "Internet Penetration and Impact," it does point out how the Internet has continued to draw more people in to using it, and those users seem to be better for it.

From February 15 through April 6, Pew found in their research 73 percent of adults in the US use the Internet for a variety of tasks. Healthcare information has been one area that benefited Internet users as the quality and depth of that information developed.

In the report, 20 percent of respondents said the Internet has greatly improved the way they get information about healthcare. Respondents also reported they found great improvement in doing their jobs (24 percent), shopping (32 percent), and pursuing interests and hobbies (33 percent) thanks to the Internet.

Men and women found the Internet equally useful for doing their jobs and for shopping; the report said about a third of male and female respondents said the Internet has improved that "a lot." Women found the Internet most useful for finding healthcare information than men did, while more men than women said the Internet improved their personal pursuits.

Those users have increasingly moved to broadband access, which in some markets competes very well with dialup access on price. 42 percent of Americans, about 84 million, have broadband at home, up from 29 percent in January 2005.

Income and education still form a demarcation line when it comes to having Internet access at home or using it. As incomes rise above $30,000, the likelihood of having an Internet connection rises to 80 percent, and increases greatly over $50,000 and over $75,000.

College graduates go online at a 91 percent clip, the report said. Only 40 percent of adults with less than a high school education do so.

*(Madden's last two reports were on 'Romance in America' and 'Online Dating'; we were a little afraid of opening this report at first. Maybe "Internet Usage and Effect would have been a safer title?)

 
About the Author:
David is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.


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