It's hard to remember what life was like before we all had easy access to the internet and screens began taking over us. Not that long ago, we had to call restaurants to make reservations, connect with friends by actually talking to them and go shopping outside rather than on our couch.
Yes, the internet has become a significant part of our lives, and yes, we get sucked into it a little too much every once in a while, but it’s safe to say that it has a lot more advantages than disadvantages. In just two decades, the slow home internet evolved into a lightning-fast way source of communication and it enables us to do a lot more things. It's easy to see how much the internet has become a major part of our lives when you discover how many people use it and the surprising ways they do it.
How Many People are Online in the US – the Real Stats
The US is a big internet lover, and the vast majority of people have access to this amazing resource, as seen by the stats of the internet use in America:
- As of December 31st, 2017, there are 345,660,847 American internet users out of 363,844,662 residents.
- Around 5% of Americans don't use the internet.
- American internet users make up 8.3% if the total number of internet users in the world.
- 25% of US adults have stated they are online almost constantly
- 77% of Americans go online every day
- 43% of Americans log in to the internet several times a day
- 8% of Americans go online once a day
- America has experienced a 219% increase in internet usage between 2000-2018
The numbers don’t lie, and it's incredible to see how many people use the internet in the US for different purposes.
How Much Online Shopping Americans Do?
It's no secret that online shopping has become one of the favorite pastime activities the world over and in America as well. In 2000, the number of American consumers that shopped online was 22%, and that figure went up to 79% in 2016. It's not hard to figure out what the number of online shoppers is so high, considering the deals offered to them. in Fact, 71% of online consumers in America have said they think they get better deals online as opposed to actual retail stores.
The rate of online shopping in the US is rising steadily, and from $353.7 billion in 2017 in e-commerce sales, it's expected to be $485.3 billion by 2021. This number can be attributed to the easy access to online shopping websites that are available in the palm of our hands – the smartphones.
55% of all online shopping in the US is conducted by using smartphones and mobile devices, which make life easier in every possible aspect. E-commerce websites, like Amazon, have also influenced the online shopping in the US by improving the surfing experience and offering sales at low low prices.
How Much Information Do People Share Online?
Aside from a source for countless e-commerce websites, the internet also provides endless information, some of which is provided by online users. Social media websites have made information sharing even more accessible than before, and you have to think of Instagram to see their influence.
In numbers, 57% of all social media sharing was performed, where else, on Facebook. Most of the information shared on social media revolves around humor, family, and friends. When it comes to YouTube, 43% of the website's users uploaded content they created themselves (as of February 2017). As of today, there are 1.32 active Facebook users in the world, and in America, 79% of the residents use the website – 53% of which use it several times a day. In comparison, 32% of Americans use the second most popular social media app – Instagram.
What Other Things do People Use the Internet For?
While most people use the internet for online shopping and for surfing on social media websites, Americans also use the internet for plenty of other things:
1. Online dating – in 2018, there are more online dating sites and apps than social media websites, and many people use them to find potential partners. 40% of Americans use online dating websites/apps, and that number keeps growing every year.
2. Reading books – nowadays you can read e-books online without having to buy them in bookstores.
3. Job hunting – the establishment of career websites has allowed many people to search and find the career of their dreams.
4. Banking – advanced banking websites allow customers to handle all their finances in one place without leaving their home.
5. Background checks - people can now search and find information about others with a background check that reveals their criminal past, contact information, occupation and much more. The information found in a background check website can help expose frauds and discover criminal details from a person's past.
Where is Online Usage Going in the Next Few Years?
The internet never stops expanding, and at its current rate of growth, information on it is predicted to increase by 50 times in 2020. Mobile devices that use the internet are expected to reach 25 billion in 2020, compared to 4.9 billion this year. Compared to 3.2 billion people using the internet today, 2020 will have 5.5 billion using the internet, and unfortunately, the number of hackers will increase as well.
The internet is one of the most important sources of information and services in what has been described as the 4th industrial revolution. It allows all of us to do things right from home without having to spend time wandering around and searching for the what we need. According to predictions, the internet will reach even more people than it does today in 2020, so they will be able to join the information revolution and vastly improve their lives.