U.S. Internet Population Crosses 200M

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An estimated 74.9 percent of Americans, or 204.3 million out of 272.8 million measured by the 2000 Census, have access to the Internet from home, according to Nielsen//NetRatings, New York.


In February 2003, the at-home penetration level was 66 percent, the market researcher said, based on a February random-digit-dial phone survey. It defines Internet access penetration as the percentage of people with Internet access, but not necessarily logging online during a particular time.


"In just a handful of years, online access has managed to gain the type of traction that took other mediums decades to achieve," Ken Cassar, a former Jupiter Research analyst and now director of strategic analysis at Nielsen//NetRatings, said in a statement.


Research shows that women account for a higher proportion of online surfers at home. Eighty-two percent, or 34.6 million women ages 35-54, went online from their residence. Men in this age band had an 80 percent rate, or 32.4 million surfers.


Also, 77 percent of women ages 25-34 go online at home compared with 75.6 percent of men in that bracket.


"Women make the majority of purchases and household decisions," Cassar said, "so it's no surprise that they are utilizing the Internet as a tool for daily living."


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