WASHINGTON, DC µ A report from the Commerce Department indicates that Americans are embracing personal computers and the Internet at an accelerating pace, with over half of all homes now containing a computer.

From December 1998 to August 2000, households with computers increased from 42.1% to 51%. Internet access climbed even faster, jumping from 26.2% in 98 to 41.5% this year.

The report, called “Falling Through the Net: Toward Digital Inclusion,” was prepared by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Informa-tion Administration (NTIA) and its Economics and Statistics Admin-istration (ESA).

It notes that Americans at every income level are going online at home at much faster rates, especially middle-income families. Internet access among those in the $35,000 to $49,000 income bracket increased from 29% in 98 to 46.1% today. Internet access is also on the increase across every education level, particularly for those with some high school or college education.

The gap between rural households and households nationwide that use the Internet is now 2.6%, compared to 4% in 98.

Publication date: 11/13/2000