Comparing Internet Penetration Rates

Quick, which state in the U.S. has the highest Internet penetration rate?  Hint, it’s not one of the most populated states.

About two-thirds of the US population ages 3 and older now use the Internet

Comparing Internet Penetration Rates

But Internet penetration varies considerably by state.

It turns out the New Hampshire had the highest household Internet penetration rate of any state in October 2007, according to the US Census Bureau’s “Current Population Survey,” as cited in the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s “Networked Nation: Broadband in America” report.

Nearly 75% of New Hampshire households surveyed said they used the Internet at least once a month.

Comparing Internet Penetration Rates

 High Internet penetration removes some of the guesswork in online marketing; when most everyone is on the Web, there is less need to worry about reaching the intended target audience.

But online campaigners also need to know when Internet penetration is comparatively low, so that they may scale back or adapt their Web efforts.

The bottom 10 states in household Internet penetration during October 2007 were, with the exception of New Mexico, Southern states. Mississippi had the lowest rate of Internet penetration in the US, at 46%. Less than one-half of households in West Virginia and Alabama were online.

Lowest Internet Penetration Rates

What makes for a high percentage of Web households? Given that most of the country is now wired for online access of some sort, physical proximity to Internet connections is no longer the prime factor in online penetration.

Judging by data from The Media Audit, higher education is closely related to Internet usage.

College towns topped the research company’s list of places with the highest number of Internet users. Ann Arbor, Michigan – home to the University of Michigan – boasts 86% of its adult population as Internet users.

Washington, DC, the nation’s capital and home to several major universities, had the second-highest adult Internet user population at 84%. Colorado Springs,CO, in third place with 83.7%, is home to the US Air Force Academy, the University of Colorado and several smaller institutions of higher learning.

San Jose, virtually tied with Boise, ID, at 82.7%, is the epicenter of Silicon Valley.

Via eMarketer