American Internet Usage Growth Statistics

Pew Internet recently published an updated fact sheet that looked into the growth of internet usage among the US population over the years. The data in the report starts in 2000 when internet usage among US adults was around 52%. This figure gradually climbed to over 60% in 2003 and it took another three years to cross the 70% barrier in 2006.

For the next six years, internet usage among US adults hovered around the 70-79 percent mark although this figure continued to move up over this period. In 2012, the figure breached the 80% figure and at last count in 2016, the internet usage among the American adult population is at 88%. Here is a table with all the relevant data.

Year Internet Usage in %
2000 52%
2001 55%
2002 59%
2003 61%
2004 63%
2005 68%
2006 71%
2007 74%
2008 74%
2009 76%
2010 76%
2011 79%
2012 83%
2013 84%
2014 84%
2015 86%
2016 88%

US Internet Usage By Age

The millennials in the 18-29 year age-group are by far the most savvy when it comes to internet usage. The usage among this group is at a staggering 99%. For perspective, this figure was at 70% in 2000. Back in the day, the 30-49 year old group had a near 10 point deficit over the then 18-29 year age group at 61%. However, as of today, that deficit has been more or less wiped out. Close to 96% of Americans in the 30-49 year old group today access the internet.

Usage among the 50-64 year group too has been impressive. Back in 2000, this age bracket saw internet usage by only 46% of the population. Today, that figure is as much as 87%. Understandably, the only laggards in this stat are the 65+ year group where only 64% of the population accesses the internet today. The corresponding figure for this group at the turn of the century was 14%. Still, an impressive growth in adoption.

18-29 30-49 50-64 65+
2000 70% 61% 46% 14%
2001 72% 65% 50% 14%
2002 76% 70% 54% 18%
2003 78% 72% 56% 22%
2004 77% 75% 61% 24%
2005 83% 79% 66% 28%
2006 86% 82% 70% 32%
2007 89% 85% 71% 35%
2008 89% 84% 72% 38%
2009 92% 84% 75% 40%
2010 92% 85% 74% 43%
2011 94% 87% 77% 46%
2012 96% 91% 79% 54%
2013 97% 92% 81% 56%
2014 97% 92% 81% 57%
2015 97% 95% 82% 63%
2016 99% 96% 87% 64%

US Internet Usage By Race

Among whites, the internet usage grew from 53% in 2000 to 88% in 2016. The growth in internet usage is a lot more impressive among the Black population where the number grew from 38% to 85% during the same period. Pew Internet started studying Hispanics only from 2010 and the usage has grown from 71% then to 88% now.

White Black Hispanic
2000 53% 38%
2001 57% 40%
2002 60% 47%
2003 63% 50%
2004 65% 49%
2005 70% 55%
2006 72% 59%
2007 75% 64%
2008 75% 63%
2009 79% 69%
2010 78% 68% 71%
2011 81% 72% 72%
2012 84% 77% 79%
2013 85% 79% 80%
2014 85% 79% 81%
2015 87% 81% 82%
2016 88% 85% 88%

US Internet Usage By Gender

There is little to separate internet usage and adoption between male and female users in the United States. Back in 2000, 54% of adult males used the internet as compared to only 50% of women. The corresponding figure for 2016 is 89% for men and 86% for women.

Men Women
2000 54% 50%
2001 57% 53%
2002 61% 57%
2003 63% 60%
2004 66% 61%
2005 69% 67%
2006 72% 70%
2007 75% 73%
2008 74% 73%
2009 77% 75%
2010 77% 76%
2011 80% 78%
2012 83% 82%
2013 84% 84%
2014 84% 84%
2015 86% 86%
2016 89% 86%

US Internet Usage By Income

Higher incomes correlate with higher usage of the internet. In 2000, just over a third of people from households with less than $30,000 annual income had access to the internet. Today, the corresponding figure is over 79%. Not surprisingly, people from high household incomes have always had good access to the internet. In 2000, 81% of people with a household income of over $75,000 had access to the internet and today, that number is 98% – very few people from this income group still don’t access the internet.

Less than $30K $30K-$49K $50K-$75K $75K+
2000 34% 58% 72% 81%
2001 36% 60% 75% 84%
2002 39% 64% 76% 85%
2003 41% 66% 81% 87%
2004 44% 68% 83% 88%
2005 49% 73% 86% 92%
2006 52% 75% 86% 92%
2007 58% 74% 86% 93%
2008 54% 78% 88% 95%
2009 60% 79% 92% 95%
2010 61% 81% 88% 95%
2011 64% 85% 90% 97%
2012 70% 87% 93% 97%
2013 72% 86% 93% 97%
2014 74% 86% 93% 96%
2015 76% 86% 94% 97%
2016 79% 90% 95% 98%

US Internet Usage By Education Levels

Adult Americans who are not even high school graduates continue to struggle when it comes to internet usage. The latest figure shows the usage numbers in this category to be just about 68%. For perspective, less than one-fifths of this population used the internet at the start of the millennium. College graduates have always been most likely to use the internet. While 78% already had access to internet in 2000, nearly everyone today does.

Less than high school graduate High school graduate Some college College graduate
2000 19% 40% 67% 78%
2001 21% 43% 68% 81%
2002 24% 48% 73% 83%
2003 25% 51% 75% 85%
2004 27% 53% 76% 86%
2005 32% 58% 80% 89%
2006 37% 61% 83% 91%
2007 40% 65% 85% 92%
2008 38% 65% 86% 93%
2009 40% 68% 87% 94%
2010 41% 68% 87% 93%
2011 43% 72% 89% 94%
2012 52% 75% 91% 96%
2013 54% 75% 92% 96%
2014 55% 76% 91% 96%
2015 62% 78% 92% 96%
2016 68% 81% 94% 98%

US Internet Usage Among Urban/Rural Population

When it comes to internet usage, there is little to separate the urban areas from the suburbs. The internet usage among these locations have not deviated by more than a handful of poicnts at point in time. What’s more surprising though is that suburban areas have always had higher internet usage than urban areas. In 2000, urban areas had a 53% internet usage while this figure was 56% in the suburbs. In 2016, the corresponding figure for urban and suburban areas stood at 89% and 90% respectively.

Rural areas are a whole different story. Back in 2000, rural US had a 42% usage rate. Over time though, this has significantly improved and in 2016, the number stood at 81%.

Urban Suburban Rural
2000 53% 56% 42%
2001 55% 59% 46%
2002 61% 63% 49%
2003 64% 65% 51%
2004 65% 67% 53%
2005 69% 70% 60%
2006 71% 73% 62%
2007 75% 77% 63%
2008 75% 77% 63%
2009 73% 76% 68%
2010 78% 79% 69%
2011 80% 81% 73%
2012 84% 84% 75%
2013 86% 85% 78%
2014 85% 85% 79%
2015 87% 88% 78%
2016 89% 90% 81%

Domain Name Statistics 2016

As the year comes to an end, here we take a look at a bunch of statistics, studies and reports relating to domain names that were published over the past twelve months.

Insights About The .AU Domain

A report published by the AusRegistry in April this year noted that there are nearly 29 million .au domains in total and this ccTLD has grown at a rate of six percent annually. This places the .AU among the top 10 most popular country codes in the world. The report included a number of other interesting facts:

    50 percent of .AU domains are between 9 to 15 characters long
    40 percent of all the .AU domains are registered for a period between 2 to 6 years
    Domain names registered for at least 6 years are at least 80 percent likely to be renewed again
    New South Wales has the largest number of registrations – just under 1 million

Trust In DNS Increases

A baseline study commissioned by the ICANN found that the overall trust in the Domain Name System (DNS) has increased this year. Participants in the survey showed an increase in awareness of the generic top level domains (gTLD). Generic TLD refers to the likes of .com, .net, .org, .info and .biz. Here are other interesting takeaways from the study.

    52 percent of respondents were aware of at least one gTLD
    The increase in awareness of strikingly high in North America where the awareness grew by nine percentage points from 29% in 2015 to 38% in 2016
    95% of participants were aware of .COM, 88% knew .NET and 83% claimed to be aware of .ORG
    Participants in the survey also said that they trusted these gTLDs. 91% claimed that websites with these TLDs were trustworthy destinations.
    A significant chunk of participants believed in restricting domain name registration of these gTLDs to increase trust. 70% of the participants preferred one form of restriction or the other.

VeriSign Study Of The Domain Name Industry

According to a report published by Verisign, there were nearly 334.6 million domain names registered across all the top level domains by the close of the second quarter of 2016. That is an increase of nearly 7.9 million domain names just in the second quarter of 2016 alone. On a year-on-year basis, there has been a growth of 12.9 percent. In terms of popularity, .COM rules with over 125 million domains registered. This is followed by .TK, .CN, .DE, .NET and .ORG in that order. Other TLDs in the top 10 list include .UK, .XYZ, .RU and .NL. The two top gTLDs – .COM and .NET together account for nearly 143.2 million registrations – that’s a 7.3% increase YoY. Among ccTLDs, the bottom of the top 10 list include .BR, .EU, .AU and .FR.

The report had other interesting facts. Among the .COM domains, the top trending keywords were ‘research’, ‘bot’, ‘worlds’, ‘gram’ and ‘prince’. Other keywords like ‘vibe’, ‘tesla’, ‘poke’, ‘mosquito’ and ‘brexit’ also made the top 10 list. For .NET, the list comprised of keywords like ‘net’, ‘research’, ‘work’, ‘csgo’, ‘tshirt’, ‘medicine’, ‘prince’, ‘gram’, ‘hearing’ and ‘forums’.

Internet Growth Affected By Lack Of Domains?

An interesting study published in the Journal of Real Estate Finance & Economics, the lack of a valuable set of word combinations in domain names might be stifling the growth of the internet. Based on statistical modeling analysis, the study finds that an estimate for domain name demand not met by the current set of word combinations could be as much as 25% of all registered internet domains. The study focused on the real estate professionals and compared domain name availability with the commonality of surnames as according to the US census data and found that increasing the length of a surname from 6 to 7 characters helps reduce the demand for registrations by a whopping 24%.

Most Visited Websites At Work

Managed security company, Network Box has studied over 13 billion URLs visited by businesses in the first quarter of 2010. The results are not too surprising. Facebook leads the pack in terms of the number of visits. The study concludes that a good 6.8% of all website traffic from businesses was to Facebook.com. Here are the top websites visited at work and the percentage of traffic share they constitute

1. Facebook : 6.8%
2. Google : 3.4%
3. Yimg (Yahoo image server) : 2.8%
4. Yahoo : 2.4%
5. DoubleClick : 1.7%

Sounds unconvincing? Well, the study has apparently studied the hits on the various servers and considering that several Yahoo images are loaded from Yahoo’s image server at yimg.com and also because several websites host Google ads that load from doubleclick.net, these websites appear to be the most popular.

While a majority of users may be unaware of them having visited these websites, in terms of hits, this is how it is.

Number Of Unique IP Addresses In The World

With an increasing number of desktop and mobile devices available to surf the internet from, the internet is seeing an amazing growth in terms of the number of unique IP addresses. Akamai’s recent “State of the Internet” report looks into the global growth of this parameter and notes that US is still very much the hot-bed for the growth of unique IP addresses.

Here is the ranking of countries based on the unique IP addresses that they contribute

1. USA : 124.95 million
2. China : 52.11 million
3. Japan : 32.25 million
4. Germany : 30.91 million
5. France : 21.47 million
6. UK : 20.00 million
7. South Korea : 16.10 million
8. Canada : 11.40 million
9. Spain : 10.82 million
10. Brazil : 10.77 million

Worldwide : 465,019,509 unique IP addresses

The Most Popular Instant Messaging Service

The first Instant messaging program was launched in 1993 – CU-SeeMe. Another popular IM Client called PowWow launched two years later. But it was not until AOL trademarked the ‘Instant Messenger’ service did the Instant messenging services really take off.

Here are the most popular IM clients today according to Pingdom (by number of registered users)

1. Skype : 560 million
2. Tencent QQ : 522 million
3. Live Messenger : 330 million
4. Yahoo Messenger : 94 million
5. AIM : 16.5 million

User Engagement
40 million logged in at the same time on Live Messenger (peak hours)
23 million logged in at the same time on Skype (peak hours)
100 million logged in at the same time on Tencent QQ (peak hours)

Free Skype-To-Skype Call Volume Statistics

If you thought Facebook, with its 400 million registered users was huge, then consider this : Skype has 560 million users and unlike on Facebook, these users are not to casually surf away. Instead a significantly big chunk of them actually pay money to make calls. That makes the business model so impressive.

Find below how the company’s Skype-to-Skype call volumes have increased over the years. While this is only the free part of the model, a fraction of these users graduate to pay and that is how this growth rate is significant.

Q3 ’06 : 7.5 Billion minutes
Q4 ’06 : 9.5 Billion minutes
Q1 ’07 : 10.9 Billion minutes
Q2 ’07 : 10.8 Billion minutes
Q3 ’07 : 9.8 Billion minutes
Q4 ’07 : 11.9 Billion minutes
Q1 ’08 : 14.2 Billion minutes
Q2 ’08 : 14.8 Billion minutes
Q3 ’08 : 16.0 Billion minutes
Q4 ’08 : 20.0 Billion minutes
Q1 ’09 : 23.6 Billion minutes
Q2 ’09 : 25.5 Billion minutes
Q3 ’09 : 27.7 Billion minutes
Q4 ’09 : 36.1 Billion minutes

Largest Print Media Websites In USA

Though media tycoons like Rupert Murdoch may lament the slow death of print media in the hands of their online counterpart, there is no gainsaying the fact that online media is now an important element in the scheme of things for any publisher.

A recent study by Hitwise looked into the major print media companies that have been successful online. The ranking was done on the basis of the market share of visits to these various websites in the month of March 2010. Here is a top ten list from this study and the market share that they constitute

1. The New York Times : 4.59%
2. USA Today : 3.83%
3. People Magazine : 2.20%
4. The Washington Post : 2.08%
5. TV Guide : 1.64%
6. The Wall Street Journal : 1.33%
7. NY Daily News : 1.22%
8. Sports Illustrated : 1.12%
9. Boston Globe : 0.94%
10. Examiner : 0.85%

Online Radio Audience Growth In USA

Online radio listeners in the US have grown from a mere 2% of the internet audience in 2001 to over 17% of the internet audience in 2010. That is approximately 43 million users per week. The study was conducted as part of “The Infinite Dial 2010: Digital Platforms and the Future of Radio” by Arbitron and Edison.

Here are the % of internet audience who have listened to online radio on a weekly basis over the years

2000 : 2%
2001 : 5%
2002 : 6%
2003 : 8%
2004 : 8%
2005 : 8%
2006 : 12%
2007 : 11%
2008 : 13%
2009 : 17%
2010 : 17%

Number of Internet Users In USA

The internet penetration in the US will breach the 70% mark this year. In a recently published report, eMarketer studies the internet growth rate in US as well as how the different racial groups are progressing in this regard. According to this study, over three-fourths of white Americans now access the internet which is the highest among the different races. Asians clock second at 73% while the internet penetration among blacks, hispanics is around the 60% mark.

The study also predicts that the number of internet users will rise rapidly to reach the 250 million mark by 2014. Here are the number of internet users estimated to exist over the following years (internet penetration provided inside brackets)

2008 : 203.2 million (66.8%)
2009 : 211.7 million (68.9%)
2010 : 221.0 million (71.2%)
2011 : 229.2 million (73.2%)
2012 : 236.9 million (74.9%)
2013 : 244.1 million (76.5%)
2014 : 250.7 million (77.8%)

Most Searched Brands In The US

This is one stat that could be truly misleading. A recent study published by Hitwise looks into the most searched brands in the US and concludes that Facebook was a brand that was more searched than Google. Why is it misleading? Because it is well known that many users use Google (or other search engines) as an alternate for their browser address bar and visit sites from the search engine results. While this does mean that Facebook could end up as the most searched brand, the fact that users do not have to ‘search’ for Google means that the search volumes are certainly skewed.

Nevertheless, here are results from the Hitwise study ranked by breadth volume (search term variations as a percentage of all search term variations)

1. Facebook : 2.80%
2. Google : 2.40%
3. Yahoo : 1.60%
4. Craigslist : 1.10%
5. MySpace : 1.10%
6. AOL : 0.50%
7. MSN : 0.30%
8. Walmart : 0.20%
9. Amazon : 0.10%
10. Netflix : 0.10%