Watercooler: Spending more time online, American migration patterns

Time online: U.S. adults said they are spending more time on the Internet — nearly 8 percent of their week this year, according to a recent survey.

The Harris Poll reported Americans 18 and older spent an average of 13 hours a week online, excluding time spent checking e-mail. That’s an hour a week less than in October 2008, during the election campaign and burgeoning financial crisis — but nearly double the time spent online a decade ago. In 1999, Americans said they spent an average of seven hours a week online. That increased to between eight and nine hours through 2006 and then grew to 11 hours a week in 2007.

Harris said the increase in the past two years was “striking,” and partly reflected growth in TV watched on the Internet and online shopping. Half the people surveyed said they had shopped over the Internet in the last month.

People from ages 25 to 49 spent the most amount of time on the Internet (17-18 hours a week), whether at home, work or another location. Americans who were 65 and older spent only eight hours a week online, on average.

Nearly a quarter of people aged 25 to 29 said they spent between 24 to 168 hours online per week.

People have increased their time spent online. There’s also been an increase in the past decade in how many people say they’re using the Internet.

This year, 80 percent of people surveyed said they browsed the Internet, up from 56 percent in 1999.

The survey asked people only if they went online from a computer, not from a smart phone.

The Harris Poll surveyed 2,029 U.S. adults from July 7-12 and Oct. 13-18. The sampling error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Where we live: Warm-weather states still gained the most residents despite their real estate meltdowns, according to the U.S. Census — but migration to many states in the South and West is slowing.

Between July 1, 2008 and July 1, 2009, Texas had the biggest population gain by number of persons, said government estimates. The Lone Star State added 478,000 people. It had a total population of

24.8 million, the second most populous.

Other population winners:

■ California (381,000 more people). California remained the country’s most populous state with 37 million residents.

■ North Carolina (134,000)

■ Georgia (131,000)

■ Florida (114,000)

While Florida, California and Texas continued to gain residents, the Census survey released last week said the number of Americans moving into former hot spot states such as Arizona and North and South Carolina had “slowed dramatically” amid the plunge in real estate prices and high joblessness. Residents of Florida and Nevada even left for other states — but those states still gained in population overall because more people were born than died and new residents arrived from abroad.

When estimated by percentage, however, Wyoming had the biggest population gains, with a 2.12 percent increase to more than 544,000 people. Utah, Texas and Colorado rounded out the list.

Michigan, Maine and Rhode Island were the only states that lost total residents.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 0

Be the first to post a comment!

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features