Study: Low-Income Households Still Largely Unwired

WASHINGTON (08/21/2000) - When Web surfing is measured based on annual household income, U.S. residents in the US$25,000 and below group comprise the fastest growing, but still the smallest segment of users, according to Media Metrix Inc.

From June 1999 to June 2000, the estimated number of "unique visitors" in the $25,000 and under category went up nearly 50 percent, from 5 million to 7.4 million, Media Metrix said in a release Monday. Media Metrix defines unique visitors as the estimated number of total users who visited the Web at least once in a given month. All unique visitors are only counted once.

While people in the $25,000 and under group are going online in greater numbers, they comprise just under 10 percent of the overall number of people who use the Web, Media Metrix said. That's the smallest of any income segment, but it's up from almost 8 percent in June 1999.

The increases in the $25,000 and under income group are attributed to a decline in computer prices and increased Web access in academic and business environments, Media Metrix analyst Anne Rickert said in the release.

The two most popular sites among lower-income Web users in June were and, Media Metrix said. Generally, the top sites among Web users in that category are career and auction sites, according to the study.

Here is a table showing the results of Media Metrix's study of unique visitors in thousands according to household income, and the percentage increase from June 1999 to June 2000:

$25,000 and below $25,000-$40,000 $40,000-$60,000 $60,000-$75,000 $75,000-$100,000 $100,000 and upJune 1999 4,989 10,170 17,732 8,121 9,304 11,977June 2000 7,449 14,245 20,828 9,684 10,506 13,647Percentage Change 49.3 40.1 17.5 19.2 12.9 13.9 Here is a table showing the change in percentage share of U.S. Web population according to household income:

$25,000 and below $25,000-$40,000 $40,000-$60,000 $60,000-$75,000 $75,000-$100,000 $100,000 and upJune 1999 7.9 16.2 28.3 13 14.8 19.7June 2000 9.7 18.7 27.3 12.7 13.8 17.9 Media Metrix, in New York, can be reached at +1-212-515-8700 or found on the Web at

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