Adult internet users in the US are now spending an average of 13 hours a week online, and half of adult internet users have purchased something online in the last month, according to the results from a recent poll from Harris Interactive.
Online Time Increases Over Years
The Harris Poll found that over the years the average number of hours spent online has increased from seven hours in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002, to between eight and nine hours in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
In 2007, weekly time online 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 per week, double the amount of time spent 1999 to 2002, the poll found.
Online Time a Factor of Age
Despite these high overall usage numbers, people’s usage still varies greatly, said Harris Interactive. The poll revealed that one in five (20%) adult internet users are online for only two hours or less a week while one in seven (14%) are spending 24 or more hours a week online.
Not surprisingly, the tendency to be online varies by age. The age groups that spend the most time online are those ages 30-39 (18 hours) and those aged 25-29 (17 hours) and 40-49 (17 hours):
Half Purchase Online
Half (50%) of all those online bought something on the internet in the last month. This includes 62% of those ages 30-39 and 56% of those ages 40-49.
184 Million Online
The number of adults online, now 184 million (80%), has not changed significantly since 2008 and 2007, noted Harris Interactive.? This includes those online at work, at home, at school or any other locations. However, the number of adults who are online at home has increased to 76% this year, and 75% last year, compared with 70% in 2006, and 66% in 2005.
Harris Interactive noted that the increase in the number of hours spent online in the last two years compared with all previous years is striking and likely reflects a growing ability to use the internet, an increase in sites and applications, increased TV watching online and increased purchasing online. Hours online also may have increased because of the recession, since going online is, in many cases, more economical than going out.
About the poll: This Harris Poll was conducted by telephone within the US July 7-12 and October 13-18, 2009 among 2,029 adults (ages 18+). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region, number of adults in the household, number of phone lines in the household were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.