Adult internet users in the US - a group that has reached now 184 million or 80% - 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.
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, according to MarketingCharts.
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 (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.