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1999 Residential Internet Use Data

This is an extract of the results of the 1999 survey conducted by Northwest Research Group, Inc. for the City of Seattle. These are the responses to the computer and TV questions only. The margin of error for questions asked of the total 1,215 person sample is plus or minus 2.8 percent. This extract is provided because the entire survey is not currently available in electronic format.

Computer Use and Internet Access

The majority (81%) of respondents has access to a computer at home, work and/or some other location (e.g. school). However, there are significant differences in access dependent upon age, education, and income. The majority (84%) of those with computer access is between the ages of 18 and 54. Three out of five (61%) have completed college and/or post graduate school. Over half (55%) have household incomes greater than $40,000.

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Respondents indicated if they had access at more than one location. Multiple responses allowed.

Those with access to a computer were asked if they have access to the Internet.

Most (89%) respondents with access to computers have access to the Internet. Many have access to the Internet from multiple sites (e.g. home and work). When responses are expanded to include those who do not have a computer, more than three out of five (64%) of the total respondents have access to the Internet. This represents a significant increase from 1997 when only 57 percent of all respondents had access to the Internet. The increase is consistent with industry figures that show a significant increase in Internet access and use.

Two our of three (67%) respondents reported that they are aware of public locations that offer free access to the Internet. Almost nine out of ten (87%) of those with Internet access, or a large majority (61%) of all respondents, have e-mail addresses. Like computer use, Internet access is related to age, education and income. In addition, men are more likely than women to have Internet access.

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Finally, those respondents with Internet access were asked if they had ever visited the City of Seattle Web site.

More than one fourth (26%) of those with Internet access have visited the City of Seattle's public Access Network (PAN). When responses were expanded to include those respondents without Internet access, nearly one out of five (18%) respondents had accessed the City of Seattle Public Access Network over the Internet. This is significantly higher than in 1997, when only 10 percent had accessed the Network.

Two out of five (40%) said they were looking for a name, address or contact, and 39 percent said they were looking for an event or calendar.

Nearly one out of five (19%) used the web site to send a message to an elected official. Another question in the survey showed that 22 percent of recent contacts with the Mayor, City Council or other departments was conducted via ne e-mail.

Respondents are mixed in whether or not they would make a purchase on the internet. Two out of five (42%) are at lease somewhat likely to do so, but 22 percent are not very likely and 36 percent are not at all likely to make a purchase on the Internet.

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Cable Television and City of Seattle Related Channels

Respondents were asked whether they had cable television and, if so, whether they had seen or watched the Seattle Municipal cable channel (TV-SEA). Responses to these follow-up questions were rebased to include all respondents to reflect the actual incidence of watching TV-SEA.

Three out of five (62%) households have cable television. This is similar to the incidence reported in 1997. This finding is consistent with the number of actual cable subscribers reported to the Office of Cable Communications.

Those between the ages of 35 and 54 are more likely to have cable television.

More than half (58%) of those with cable television have seen or watched TV-SEA. This would mean that more than one out of three (36%) adults in the city have seen or watched TV-SEA.

Half (53%) of those who have seen TV-SEA report watching City Council meetings.

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David Keyes
Posted on May 11, 1999

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