August 25, 2006

New Data on How Americans Use the Internet

Those who are regular users of our data will find that we’ve recently posted an updated and reorganized version of our “Usage Over Time” spreadsheet in the Latest Trends section of our website.

The spreadsheet is meant to serve as a quick reference guide to some of the core data on internet use and online activities that has been gathered by the Pew Internet & American Life Project since 2000. The spreadsheet can be used to examine changes over time among online Americans in key internet activities such as using email, getting news online, doing internet banking, using search engines, accessing weather information, buying products, pursuing hobby information, making travel reservations, getting sports information, downloading music and other digital files, sending instant messages, and participating in online auctions.

The spreadsheet also contains some demographic data for all of those activities, so users can compare trends among online men and women, different age cohorts, and different racial and ethnic groups.

Before accessing the spreadsheet, we recommend that all users first read over an updated version of the “Usage Over Time Tip Sheet” here.

While the data included in the spreadsheet reflect just a small sampling of all the research done by the Project over the past seven years, those who are interested in digging deeper into our library can access all of our raw data sets and questionnaire files here.

We are pleased to provide our raw data to scholars and analysts for their own research, and we hope it will be useful in furthering their understanding of the evolution and impact of internet use.

We would also appreciate hearing from those of you who use our data. If you have cited the Project in a speech, given a lecture containing some of our research, used our data in a client presentation, assigned our reports for a class, or cited our findings in an article or book, we would really appreciate hearing from you. We and our benefactors at the Pew Charitable Trusts always enjoy learning about how our research is being used.