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BizReport : Research archives : November 20, 2008

Harris Poll: The Internet revolution continues

Over 80% of the U.S. population is online, and cyberspace is no longer purely the domain of the young and tech-savvy, according to recent Harris Interactive research.

by Helen Leggatt

When the first Harris Poll was conducted, thirteen years ago, just under 18 million adults in the U.S. accessed the Internet, whether it be at work, home or at the library. Today, that figure has multiplied over tenfold with 184 million Americans currently online.

While just 2% of today's computer users do not go online, a decade ago less than half of computer users used the Internet.

The poll also found that the amount of time spent online is increasing, with the average number of hours spent online in a week standing at 14 this year, compared with 9 hours in 2005. This isn't a surprising figure considering the rise in online media viewing and mobile web devices.

"The Internet revolution continues," concluded Harris Interactive. "The online population continues to grow and to use the Internet for more hours than ever before. Initially the Internet was used to do things we did before but to do them better, faster or cheaper. Now it is increasingly being used to do new things we could not do before which were prohibitively expensive or difficult."

Tags: demographics, Harris interactive, harris Poll, Internet usage, online population, U.S.

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