RealTime IT News

U.S. Internet Audience Up 16 Percent in Past Year

The rest of the world may be catching up, but the U.S. Internet market is still growing at a healthy clip, even if it is slower than previous years. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, Internet growth at-home spiked 63 percent in the past two years.

The U.S. at-home Internet population increased 16 percent from July 2000 to July 2001, Nielsen//NetRatings found. By comparison, the population grew 41 percent the previous year from 1999 to 2000.

"Despite a troubled economy and slumping PC sales, adoption of the Internet continues to grow at double-digit annual rates," said Sean Kaldor, vice president of analytical services at NetRatings. "The Web long ago captured early adopters and is now reaching the latter half of mainstream America. Going forward, Internet growth is being driven by late adopters and by more aggressive use from the enormous existing Internet population."

Fifty-eight percent of all Americans had Internet access in their homes in July 2001, compared to 52 percent last year. In July 1999 only 39 percent of all Americans had access to the Web.

Overall, Nielsen//NetRatings found that Web users are spending more time online and logging on more frequently. Web users spent an average of 10:19 (hr:min) online during the month of July 2001, rising 7 percent from 9:41 spent in July 2000. Surfers also accessed the Internet more often, jumping 11 percent in the past year.

"Compared to other communications and media technology, Internet adoption has reached nearly three out of five homes almost overnight," Kaldor said. "While PC and Internet penetration have far exceeded many other types of consumer devices, there is still ample room to grow before reaching the 98 percent penetration levels of telephones and TVs."

U.S. At-Home Internet Penetration
Month Internet Universe*
Census Population
July, 1999 106,370 272,691 39%
July, 2000 143,959 275,130 52%
July, 2001 165,181 284,870 58%
Current Internet Universe is the total number of users who had access
to the Web during the month, but did not necessarily log on.
Source: Nielsen//NetRatings