Americans are spending nearly twice the amount of time online as they did five years ago, according to a Gallup poll.

While only 26% of users spent over an hour online every day in 2002, now 48% do so. Usage has particularly spiked among older and less affluent users, a trend the pollsters believe will continue in the future.

People holding advanced degrees,  those earning over $75,000 annually, and users under 30 remain the Web's most frequent users. More than 60 percent in each of these groups say they spend over an hour a day surfing the Web.

"Business leaders — and advertisers in particular — will be well-served to keep these burgeoning trends in mind. While targeting content toward the most educated, most affluent, and youngest Americans may be an effective strategy today, the growth evident among their counterparts at the other end of the spectrum suggests new strategies may be needed to cater to the frequent internet users of tomorrow," said Gallup of its survey results.

Rebecca Lieb

Published 28 January, 2009 by Rebecca Lieb

Rebecca Lieb oversees Econsultancy's North American operations.

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