The Internet is color-blind

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Regardless of ethnicity, consumers use the Internet for the same reasons and to accomplish the same tasks, primarily communication and e-mail, access to information, entertainment and shopping, according to a new study by Forrester Research. Although Asian- and Hispanic-Americans use the Internet more than African-Americans, the racial divide disappears online, as ethnic groups exhibit the same surfing behavior. In 1999, connectivity to the Net from home increased by at least 11% for all ethnic groups; Internet penetration among Asian-American households matches that of mass consumer technologies such as cable TV, while Hispanic-Americans are nine percent more likely than caucasians to be online. Income emerges as the stronger predictor of whether a consumer is online: Online penetration rises as income rises. The findings are drawn from a Forrester survey of more than 80,000 households that was fielded in January.

Copyright April 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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