Change is happening within the U.S. Internet population on many levels. The average age of Internet users is rising in tandem with that of the general population, for example, and racial and ethnic characteristics are more closely mirroring those in the offline population.
In 2010, 221 million people in the U.S. will be online, about 71% of the total population. Their numbers will continue to grow, reaching 250 million in 2014 — more than 77% of the population.
Internet users are on the go, and they are taking the Internet with them. Thanks to the plethora of mobile devices available, the PC is on its way to being at least a secondary point of access. Still, form follows function. Consumers look to the Internet to facilitate communication above all, then for news and information-and now, entertainment. They will adopt the devices that best suit their personal need for communication and information, whether it is a laptop, netbook, smartphone or e‑reader.
Marketers already know they are navigating a dynamic digital landscape in 2010. In five years, the results of some demographic shifts now taking place will become more evident. Internet users will be older, and many will have lower levels of education and annual income. One thing is certain: They will be more diverse racially and ethnically and expect marketing messages to appeal to them.
Lisa E. Phillips. U.S. Internet Users, 2010. eMarketer. Apr. 2010. Web. 18 Apr. 2010.