Home Web Access Triples In Six Years

Fifty-five percent of U.S. households had Web access in October 2003--up from 50 percent in 2001 and 18 percent in 1997, according to a report of the U.S. Census Bureau released late last week.

The study, based on the October 2003 Current Population Survey, also found that the states with the highest proportion of residents with home Internet access included Alaska (69 percent), New Hampshire (66 percent), Colorado (63 percent), Connecticut (63 percent), and Utah (83 percent). The states with the lowest penetration rates included Mississippi (40 percent), Arkansas (42 percent), and Louisiana (44 percent).

Studies by other researchers indicated that Internet usage has risen even more in the last two years. For example, the Pew Internet & American Life Project reported earlier this month that 68 percent of U.S. adults go online--up from 63 percent last year.

The Census Bureau also reported last week that the most popular online activities included sending or reading e-mail (done by 55 percent of the population), finding information about products or services (47 percent), surfing for news, weather or sports (40 percent), seeking information about government, business, health or education (33 percent), and purchasing products or services (32 percent).

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