U.S. Census Data Shows What We Know: Internet Growth

[qi:046] We don’t quite need the U.S. Census to tell us that most (but not all) people love the Internet. Breakneck growth in the number of broadband connections, growing sales of cheap computers, and our growing reliance on modern communication tools, such as email, instant messages and Facebook, have become so pervasive that even the homeless need to be connected. That reliance has increased over the past 12 years, as shown by 2007 U.S. Census data. Here are some of the highlights from that data (which is now about 2 years old).

  • 64 percent of people over 18 used the Internet in 2007 vs. 22 percent in 1997.
  • 62 percent of households used the Internet at home in 2007 vs. 18 percent in 1997.
  • 50.8 percent of households accessed the Internet at home over a broadband connection. Dial-up access had 10.7 percent of households.
  • Alaska and New Hampshire residents had among the highest rates of Internet use from any location (home, work or public access).
  • There were 38.3 percent households with no Internet use at home.

These stats, while 2 years old, are a good mile-marker that explains why we are still continuing to see growth in services such as Skype, Facebook, Twitter and Google. I wonder what the next census will look like? With 4G wireless broadband around the corner, will we even bother to ask the question: Internet access from home? More importantly, will there be anyone still dialing up for Internet access? :-)

Year Households Household with computer at home Household with Internet use at home
2007 117,840 (x)1 61.7
2003 113,126 61.8 54.7
2001 109,106 56.3 50.4
2000 105,247 51.0 41.5
1997 102,158 36.6 18.0
1993 98,736 22.9 (x)2
1989 94,061 15.0 (x)
1984 87,073 8.2 (x)

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, November 1984, 1989, 1993, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003. Internet Release date: June 2009.

1. In 2007 respondents were not asked any questions about computer access or ownership. Additonally, question wording regarding both computer use and Internet access have differered from year to year.

2. In 1984, 1989, and 1993, respondents were not asked any questions about the Internet.

3. The householder refers to the person (or one of the persons) in whose name the housing unit is owned or rented (maintained) or, if there is no such person, any adult member, excluding roomers, boarders, or paid employees. If the house is owned or rented jointly by a married couple, the householder may be either the husband or the wife. The person designated as the householder is the “reference person” to whom the relationship of all other household members, if any, is recorded.

Hat Tip, Gary Price.