Internet Users Spend More Time Online

  • Broadband Penetration
NEW YORK - A new Harris Poll finds that adult Internet users are now spending an average of 13 hours a week online. Of course, people’s usage varies greatly; one in five (20 percent) of adult Internet users are online for only two hours or less a week, while one in seven (14 percent) are spending 24 or more hours a week online.

Over the years, the average hours spent online have increased from 7 hours in 1999 through 2002, to between 8 and 9 hours in 2003 through 2006. In 2007, it increased to 11 hours. Last year - in October, after the financial crisis broke and before the presidential election - Internet users were online for 14 hours a week, double the time spent from 1999 to 2002.

Other interesting findings in this Harris Poll include:

The age groups spending the most time online are 30-39 (18 hours), 25-29 (17 hours) and 40-49 (17 hours).
Half (50 percent) of those online bought something on the Internet in the last month.
The number of adults online, now 184 million (80 percent), has not changed significantly over the last two years. This includes those online at work, at home, at school or any other locations.
However, the number of adults online at home increased to 76 percent this year, and 75 percent last year, from 70 percent in 2006 and 66 percent in 2005.

The increase in the number of hours spent online in the last two years compared to all previous years is striking. It probably reflects a growing ability to use the Internet, an increase in sites and applications, increased TV watching online and increased purchasing online. Also, hours online may have increased because of the recession. Going online is free; going out usually costs money.

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