Internet Use in America

At a recent Bankrate partner conference, Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project (, gave an excellent keynote address on the constant evolution of the the digital world we live in. Here are some of the growth stats, Lee shared.

Lee pointed out that we have moved from a slow and stationary world to a fast an mobile one with 62% of American connecting to the internet wirelessly in 2008 compared to none in 2000 (42% of laptop owners and 59% of cell phone users connect wirelessly to the net). In 2000, ~25% of adults were online any typical day, while today that number exceeds 55%.

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Beneficiaries of this growth, have been companies offering consumers broadband and wireless access to the internet such as Cisco , Comcast , and Verizon . The gadget manufacturers like Nokia and Motorola also had big runs during this growth. So what are the next areas that have low adoption today but might be ready for the same type of rapid growth?

Rainie says "The place I’d be looking is in the "cloud" computing domain." Some other hints may come from the wider adoption amongst teens and young adults of new technologies:

  • 62% of young adults have uploaded photos to the internet vs 34% of all users
  • 58% of teens have social networking pages vs. 33% of online adults
  • 44% of young adults seek information at Wikipedia vs. 36% for all adults
  • 37% of young adults have rated products online vs. 32% for all adults
  • 34% of young adults have tagged online content vs. 28% for all adults
  • 33% of college students write blogs and 54% read them vs. 12% and 25% for adults