18 Million Germans Online, Study Says

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DUSSELDORF, Germany -- The number of German Internet users has nearly doubled to 18 million in the past 12 months, according to a study by two German research organizations.


Gruner + Jahr's Electronic Media Service and GfK (the Society for Consumer Research) made their findings public at the first fair for online advertising and marketing held here this month.


The study said 7.8 million users are online every day and that in any given week, 72 percent of the 18 million are online at least once.


Personal e-mail and "surfing for pleasure" top the agenda of German Web users. Checking on the news and sending business e-mails rank next. Users also are interested in business news and in downloading software.


The number of women grew substantially, accounting for 38.9 percent of surfers. But in recent months, the study said, the number of women online has "stabilized."


Older Germans also have begun to flock to the Web and show the highest percentage growth rate. But, the study said, "younger, better educated and high-earning people are still over-represented" among the German surfing population.


The Internet, the study concluded, has "become an integral part of personal media use for more and more Germans."
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