New data from the U.S. Census Bureau show that 62 percent of households reported using Internet access in the home in 2007, an increase from 18 percent in 1997, the first year the bureau collected data on Internet use. (See Table 1.)
Sixty-four percent of individuals 18 and over used the Internet from any location in 2007, while only 22 percent did so in 1997. (See table 2.)
Among households using the Internet in 2007, 82 percent reported using a high-speed connection, and 17 percent used a dial-up connection. (See Table 1.)
"As access to high speed connections have become more prevalent, so too have the number of people that connect to the Internet at home," said Thom File, a statistician with the Census Bureau Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division. "These data give us a better understanding of who is using the Internet and from where."
Among the states, Alaska and New Hampshire residents had among the highest rates of Internet use from any location (home, work or public access) for those 3 and older in 2007. Mississippi and West Virginia had among the lowest rates of Internet use at about 52 percent. (See Table 3.)
Internet usage also varied by education. For individuals 25 and older with a bachelor's degree, 87 percent reported going online from any location in 2007. For those with only some college, 74 percent reported using the Internet. About half (49 percent) of those with only a high school diploma reported using the Internet, compared with 19 percent for those without a high school diploma.
Internet usage also varied by race and Hispanic origin; 69 percent of whites lived in households with Internet use, while the same was true for 51 percent of blacks, 73 percent of Asians and 48 percent of Hispanics. (See Table 2.)
When looking at age groups, the percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds who accessed the Internet was more than double (73 percent) that of people 65 and older (35 percent). Among children 3 to 17, 56 percent used the Internet. (See Table 2.)
These figures come from the 2007 Internet and Computer Use Supplement to the Current Population Survey.