The Rumors Are True: We Spend More And More Time Online

Survey results published by Harris Interactive suggest that adult Internet users are now spending an average of 13 hours a week online. About 14% spends 24 or more hours a week online, while 20% of adult Internet users are online for only two hours or less a week.

To put things in perspective: Harris surveyed 2,029 adults by telephone for an entire week in July and October 2009, and has been doing these types of polls since 1995.

Harris concludes that the average hours spent online have increased from 7 hours from 1999 to 2002, to between 8 and 9 hours in 2003 to 2006, and surged after that.

There was a sudden spike in time spent online in 2007 when the average hours spent on the Web increased to 11 hours. Last year, Internet users were online for 14 hours a week, double what it was from 1999 to 2002, although Harris says this could have something to do with the outbreak of the financial crisis and the lead-up to the presidential election in October 2008.

The age groups that spend the most time online are those aged 30-39 (18 hours) and those aged 25-29 (17 hours) and 40-49 (17 hours).

Harris Interactive also polled people for their ecommerce behavior, and found that half of all those online bought something on the Internet in the last month. This includes 62% of those aged 30-39 and 56% of those aged 40-49.

How about you: how much time do you spend online (excluding e-mail) a week on average?

(Image credit: dalbera / Flickr)