A recent online study on the US Online Population finds that there is no longer a surge in online population growth. In fact, a mere 3.1 percent increase in growth for this year is forecasted by eMarketer.com. The number of US Int

ernet users in 2008 is projected to reach nearly 200 million, or about two-thirds of the total population. By 2012, 217 million Americans will be online.   Compared to the rest of the world, the US accounts for 71 percent of Internet penetration in North America and roughly 19 percent of the world’s average Internet usage, according to Miniwatts Marketing Group and listed on Internetworldstats.com. Not bad considering the world average for Internet penetration is 20 percent. Though the online population may be slowing, Americans are noticeably spending more time on the Internet, according to the USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future. US Internet users spent an average of 15.3 hours a week online in 2007, up from 8.9 hours in 2006.  So, who’s spending all this time on the Internet?   Slightly more women than men are using the internet, a measurement that eMarketer asserts closely matches the general population.   “On the Internet, females consistently make up almost 52% of the population versus 48% males,” says Lisa Phillips, Senior Analyst at eMarketer. “And we foresee that ratio remaining constant at least through 2011.” ”On the other hand, the racial make-up of the US Internet population does differ slightly from the general population,” says Ms. Phillips. While 72.4 percent of non-Hispanic whites account for the population of Internet users, they represent only 66 percent of the US population in 2008. Similarly, Asian Americans make up 4.5 percent of the US general population, but are 6 percent of all Internet users.  African Americans, on the other hand, account for 13 percent of the general population and only 11.2 percent of Internet users.  Kathleen Clark L’Atelier   FEEDBACK For comments on this article, email us at editorial@atelier-us.com