U.S. Internet penetration hits 82%

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

Dallas (TX) – Almost four of five U.S. households have access to the Internet today, according to a survey released by Parks Associates. That, of course, means that a fairly high percentage of U.S. consumers does not have access to the Internet and Parks found that very few of them plan on using the Internet in the foreseeable time.    

Parks Associates said that about 20 million U.S. households, or 18% of all households, are not connected to the Internet at this time. The numbers showed up in the research firm’s National Technology Scan survey, which included responses from 1000 participating households.

Interestingly, the numbers that are connected to using a computer are slightly higher than 18%. For example, 21% of households said that they never looked up a website on the Internet, 21% said they never sent or received an email, 21% said they never searched for information on the Internet and 30% said they never used a computer to create documents.

The dominant factors playing into computer and Internet use are age and education. 50% of those who have never used email are over 65, and 56% had no schooling beyond high school. Of those 20 million disconnected households, only 7% plan on subscribing to an Internet service within the next 12 months.

"Internet connections have slowly increased in U.S. households, but getting the disconnected minority online will continue to be difficult," John Barrett, director of research at Parks Associates, said. "Age and economics are important factors, but the heart of the challenge is deeper. Many people just don't see a reason to use computers and do not associate technology with the needs and demands of their daily lives."