Internet use patterns in the United States

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Few studies have explored the factors influencing general adult population's Internet use in the United States. This study analyzes data from the U.S. National Opinion Research Center 2000-2004 General Social Survey to determine who is more or less likely to use the Internet for activities other than e-mail. In the valid sample of 1,895 US adults, respondents ranged in age from 18 to 89 years; the average age was 46.3 years. Of these respondents, 54.2% were male, and 78.7% were white. Statistics were calculated using bivariate correlation and logistic regression. Results of the study showed that demographics (such as age and race) and socio-economic status variables (such as education level and household income) play significant roles in predicting the patterns of Internet use. The respondents who were older or African-Americans were less likely to use the Internet for activities other than e-mail. Those with higher levels of education or family income were more likely to use the Internet in this manner. Gender, marital status, region, and employment variables appeared to have no influence. The findings will be helpful to understand people's behaviors and patterns of using the Internet other than email, and may assist local governments, schools and higher education, libraries, information centers, and other agencies when making policies regarding future information technology; distance education programs; and digital resources, services, and tools.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalChinese Librarianship: An International Electronic Journal
Issue numberJune 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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