More Money = More Surfing

The digital divide has not disappeared, as research reveals
a correlation between household income and Internet usage,
with high earners spending the most time online.

The Capital region of the United States — composed of
Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC — has the greatest
percentage of affluent Internet users, with nearly 36 percent
earning an annual household income over $75,000, followed by
New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode
Island, Maine, and New Hampshire) at just over 35 percent. The
findings come from a Pew
Internet & American Life Project
study that analyzed
the nation’s online population and regionally categorized
users.

While the Capital region has the highest number of
high-income Internet surfers, the Pacific Northwest (Oregon
and Washington) has the greatest percentage of under $30,000
per year users. Interestingly, when Pew analyzed online
tenure, the two regions ranked the highest for Internet users with
more than three years online experience.

Nationally, and in most of the regions, the highest income
earners represent the largest online population. The
exceptions are the Industrial Midwest, the Border States, the
South, Southeast, and Midwest, where the $30,000 to $50,000
annual income range boasts the most Internet users.


Online Population by Annual Household Income
  Under
$30,000
$30,000 –
$50,000
$50,000 –
$75,000
Over
$75,000
Refused
California 18.8% 19.9% 14.6% 30.8% 15.9%
Mid-Atlantic
PA, NJ, DE, NY
17.6% 22.0% 18.9% 25.1% 16.5%
Industrial Midwest

IL, IN, OH, MI
15.3% 25.5% 18.9% 23.2% 17.0%
Mountain

CO, UT, ID, NV,
WY, MT
15.7% 22.8% 22.9% 23.9% 14.7%
Capital Region

MD, VA, DC
12.6% 16.4% 18.3% 35.8% 16.8%
New England

CT, MA, VT, RI,
ME, NH
13.9% 17.8% 17.4% 35.1% 15.9%
Border States

TX, NM, AZ
17.9% 27.2% 14.0% 24.2% 16.7%
South

TN, AL, MS, LA,
WV, KY, AK
21.7% 26.1% 17.2% 20.9% 14.1%
Southeast

FL, GA, NC, SC
20.7% 24.6% 16.1% 25.7% 13.0%
Upper Midwest

MN, ND, SD, WI
18.4% 20.9% 21.8% 24.5% 14.4%
Midwest

MO, NE, KS, OK,
IA
18.6% 27.9% 20.0% 20.8% 12.7%
Pacific Northwest

OR, WA
25.6% 23.2% 17.6% 20.4% 13.1%
NATIONAL 18.3% 23.2% 17.7% 25.3% 15.4%
Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project

Measurements from comScore Media Metrix
further revealed the link between Internet usage and household
income, with those earning above $100,000 annually spending
the most time online and viewing the most pages.















































U.S. Internet Users by Household Income
August 2003, Home,
Work and University
Users
 Internet
Users
Average Usage
Time
per Month
Average
Pages
Viewed per Month
$15,000 –
$24,999
11,422,00023.3 hrs2,292
$25,000 –
$39,999
18,144,00026.4 hrs2,526
$40,000 –
$59,999
37,719,00026.4 hrs2,670
$60,000 –
$74,999
23,206,00026.4 hrs2,577
$75,000 –
$99,999
24,654,00027.5 hrs2,636
$100,000 or
more
25,793,00027.6 hrs2,964
Total
Internet Users
148,811,00026.5
hrs
2,648
Source:
comScore Media Metrix

comScore’s August analysis also revealed:


  • Nearly 84 percent of Internet users with a household
    income of $100,000 or more visited a retail site.
  • Americans with household incomes of $100,000 or more are
    20 percent more likely to visit a Travel site than the
    average Internet user. More than half (54 percent) of
    affluent Internet users visited a travel site, compared to
    47 percent of the total Internet population.
  • Affluent Internet users are 10 percent more likely to
    visit news sites than the average Internet user, as 61
    percent of the high income users visited a site in the
    general news category.

Traffic intelligence information from Hitwise supports the link
between income and Internet usage. Analysis of over 150 of the
Hitwise U.S. business and market oriented categories shows
that the bulk of the September 2003 visitors came from
households with annual incomes greater than $75,000, at nearly
36 percent.

Those earning between $50,000 and $75,000 were responsible
for more than 22 percent of the monthly traffic; households in
the $35,000 to $50,000 income range accounted for nearly 17
percent; $25,000 to $35,000 = over 10 percent; $15,000 to
$25,000 = just over 7 percent; and households below $15,000
comprised a little more than 6 percent of the September 2003
Internet traffic.

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