Nearly three of four people in the United States have Internet access at home, Nielsen/NetRatings said on Thursday.

In a February telephone survey, an estimated 204.3 million people, or 74.9 percent of the population above the age of 2 and living in households equipped with a fixed-line phone, had Internet access, up from 66 percent in February 2003.

“In just a handful of years, online access has managed to gain the type of traction that took other mediums decades to achieve,” said Kenneth Cassar, director of strategic analysis at Nielsen/NetRatings.

Women were slightly more likely to be Web surfers than their male counterparts, the company said.

Internet penetration for women aged 35 to 54 was 81.7 percent, compared with 80.2 percent for men in the same age group. For the 25 to 34 age group, Internet usage was 77 percent for women and 75.6 percent for men.

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