More and more of us caught up in the World Wide Web

Monday, June 8, 2009

It doesn't seem all that long ago that Internet service wasn't even available in McCook, but now we can't even imagine getting along without it.

We're right in line with the national statistics, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

According to those figures, 62 percent of us have Internet access in the home as of 2007, compared to only 18 percent in 1997, when the census began collecting data.

And not only are more of us wired, 82 percent of us using the Internet have a high-speed connection, compared to 17 percent using dial-up.

Sixty-four percent of individuals 18 or over used the Internet from any location in 2007, while only 22 percent did so in 1997.

But despite its promise as an equalizing influence, inequalities in other parts of life exist on the Internet as well. For instance, while 69 percent of whites live in households with Internet use, 73 percent of Asians, 51 percent of blacks and 48 percent of Hispanics have Internet at home.

Better-educated people are more likely to use the Internet; of individuals 25 or older with a bachelor's degree, 87 percent reported going online from any location in 2007. For those with only some college, 74 percent reported using the Internet. Only about half of those with only a high school diploma reported using the Internet, compared with 19 percent for those without a high school diploma.

As one might expect, the percentage of 18- to 34-year-olds who accessed the Internet was more than double -- 73 percent -- that of people 65 or older -- 35 percent. Among children 3 to 17, 56 percent used the Internet.

More proof that all of us are caught, to some degree or another, in the threads of the World Wide Web.

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