Affluent Americans Drive Internet Growth

NEW YORK–Affluent Americans are the fastest growing income group online, according to the latest report from Nielsen/NetRatings.

Individuals with yearly household incomes of $100,000-150,000 accounted for nearly 15 million Web surfers, or 12 percent of the Web population, the research firm reported. That is a 20-percent increase over last year.

Those earning $150,000 and higher recorded a 14-percent year-over-year jump. That income bracket made up 5.3 percent of the Web population, or 6.4 million surfers. Households with earnings between $75,000-100,000 posted a 12-percent rise, comprising 17 percent of all Web surfers, or 21 million people.

The average household income in the U.S. is $55,000, according to the U.S. Census.

By comparison, those individuals belonging to households earning less than $25,000 or $25,000-50,000 grew two percent and five percent, respectively. Still, those falling in the income brackets of $50,000-75,000 and $25,000-50,000 represent a large portion of the Internet population, 31 percent and 27 percent, respectively.

–Ann M. Mack