Study Claims Women Rivaling Men on Web

May was the first month in which more women than men in the U.S. logged online, according to new data from online usage tracker MMXI Europe BV. Furthermore, the study released yesterday showed that Internet usage by European women is also experiencing strong growth.

According to the survey results, women in both the U.S. and Europe primarily use the Internet to shop for specific items at specific Web sites. European women in particular use the Internet to gather information on retail, careers and travel, MMXI said.

In the U.S. in May, females over the age of 2 accounted for 50.4 percent of all unique visitors to the Web, MMXI said. And in Germany, the percentage of women online who are over the age of 14 grew from 27.3 percent in January to 31.7 percent in June.

Furthermore, in the month of June, in the U.K., women made up 35.9 percent of the online population, in France 33.4 percent, Denmark 42.4 percent and in Sweden, women accounted for 44.2 percent of unique Web site visitors, MMXI said.

In terms of total online usage, as usual, Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. fought it out with local portals, France Télécom SA's Wanadoo and Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Online portals, U.K. free ISP (Internet service provider) Freeserve PLC and Swedish telecommunications carrier Telia AB for the top five visited sites in France, Germany, the U.K. and Sweden in June.

For both women and men in the U.K. in June, four of the top five Web sites were U.S.-based, with only Freeserve cracking the top five to take the third position with 3.54 million unique visitors.

The U.K.'s most visited sites in June were Microsoft's MSN with 4.76 million unique visitors, Yahoo.com was number two with 4.48 million, Microsoft.com was number four with 3.1 million and Lycos rounded out the top five with 2.79 million unique visitors. MSN and Yahoo were in reverse positions in May.

The unique visitor count is made up of the number of individuals that access the content of a specific site counted only once, even if they visit the same site more than once, according to MMXI Europe.

MSN, Microsoft.com, Yahoo.com and Lycos Inc. all also figured in the most visited sites in June for France, Germany and Sweden, according to MMXI.

Specifically, in France Wanadoo, the portal site of France Télécom's ISP, reached 1.93 million unique visitors in June to take the top spot. Yahoo.com (1.68 million), French ISP Free.fr (1.28 million), Microsoft.com (1.25 million), and MSN (1.13 million) completed the top five.

In Germany, the ranking from number one was: T-Online (5.35 million), Yahoo (3.16 million, Lycos (2.69 million), the site from AOL Europe GmbH (2.45 million) and MSN (2.14 million).

MMXI Europe, an online usage measurement company, is a joint-venture of Media Metrix Inc., Ipsos SA and GfK AG and the SIFO Group.

MMXI Europe, in London, can be reached at +44-207-563-1600, or at http://www.mmxieurope.com/.

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