Lower Goes Higher

It seems that every time you turn around, a new demographic group is reportedly rushing to log onto the Internet. Last year it was kids, senior citizens and lower income groups. This year, according to Milpitas, Calif.-based Nielsen NetRatings, lower income surfers represent the fastest-growing population on the Web, achieving close to a 50 percent spike in traffic over the past year. Upper middle class income groups, who had a head start on lower income groups until computer prices started coming down, represented a 42 percent growth in traffic.

Rank Income Group: Unique Audience Feb. ’00; UA Feb. ’01; Percent Growth
1 $0-$24,999: 4,333,000; 6,336,000; 46 percent
2 $50,000-74,999: 21,372,000; 30,426,000; 42 percent
3 $25,000-49,999: 18,777,000; 26,363,000; 40 percent
4 $100,000-149,999: 7,800,000; 10,448,000; 34 percent
5 $75,000-99,999: 12,301,000; 16,241,000; 32 percent
6 $150,000-999,999: 3,751,000; 4,804,000; 28 percent
Source: Nielsen NetRatings