The U.S. Internet population has grown steadily over the last nine years, jumping from 17.5 million adults in 1995 to 156 million in 2004, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive. A mere 9 percent of adults were online in 1995, compared with 73 percent in 2004.

The survey also showed that more people are accessing the Internet using faster connections. The number of Internet users using a broadband connection increased from about 20 percent in 2002 to 44 percent in 2004.

The number of DSL users has nearly tripled from 7 percent in 2002 to 19 percent in 2004, while the number of respondents using cable increased from 13 percent in 2002 to 22 percent in 2004.

The Harris poll also showed the percentage of adults using the Internet at work increased from 31 percent last year to 34 percent this year. At-home users increased from 61 percent to 65 percent during the same period.

Seniors lagged the adult population in Internet users, with only 7 percent of Internet users aged 65 years and older compared with 14 percent of the adult population. Other demographics showed that 39 percent of Internet users did not go to college, compared with 47 percent of all adults.

Sixteen percent of online adults have incomes below $25,000, compared with 22 percent of the adult population. The online adult population has a higher percentage of people who earn more than $50,000 a year than the general population.

With regards to gender, race and age, the Harris poll found that these categories follow the same demographic patterns in both the online population and the general population. However, there is a slightly greater percentage of 18- to 39-year-olds online.


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