eMarketer estimates there are 95.9 million males online in 2009, or 48.2 percent of the Internet population, compared with 103.2 million females.
Although the U.S. Internet population will continue to grow, by 2013 males will make up just 47.9 percent of the online population, and at 105.9 million users will still be the minority.
The figures are important because gender, even more than race or ethnicity, is a distinguishing factor of how consumers use the Internet, informing online behavior and attitudes.
"Men spend more time online, conduct more searches on a daily basis and do not mind seeing ads," said Lisa E. Phillips, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, "Men Online." Phillips added: "They are as engaged in social media as women are, and most are not put off by the companies and brands they find there."
Some of the report's findings include:
• Online, men visit more sites and stay longer than females.
• They are search-engine users and participate in all forms of social media, particularly videos.
• In addition, they are more mobile -- avid users of laptops, wireless broadband connections and cellular phones.