Evans: Census Data Show America is Online - Internet Usage Promising for Economic Vitality

February 6, 2002

Washington D.C., 05 February 2002

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Don Evans today released new Census data showing that more than half of American households and more than half of all Americans are now connected to the Internet. The figures were released as part of "A Nation Online", a new study using Census data to track Internet usage in the United States.

As of September 2001, 143 million Americans, or about 54 percent of the population, were using the Internet, and new users were adopting the technology at a rate of better than two million per month.

Secretary Evans presenting "A Nation Online", a new study using Census data to track Internet usage in the United States.

Children and teenagers are leading the way. Ninety percent (or 47.4 million) of children between the ages of 5 and 17 now use computers at home and at school; 75% percent of 14- to 17-year-olds, and 65 percent of 10- to 13-year-olds use the Internet. Households with children under the age of 18 are more likely to access the Internet (62.2 percent) than households with no children (53.2 percent).

"Today's children are tomorrow's entrepreneurs and innovators," Evans said. "That Internet usage is so prominent among them promises to bring vitality and growth to our economy. "

Evans pointed out that households headed by single mothers with children under age 18 are increasing their Internet usage faster than any other type of household. Five years ago, about 15 percent used the Internet; that percentage has tripled.

"I want to commend all the parents and teachers who encourage kids to be comfortable with new technology, especially the single mothers who make sacrifices in order to afford a computer at home. Their children's futures in our increasingly technology-savvy society will be brighter because of their foresight," Evans said.

The Nation online report is available at http://www.esa.doc.gov/508/esa/USEconom y.htm .

US Department of Commerce

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