January 16, 2011

50 Percent Of US Adults Use Wikipedia

According to a new report, over 50 percent of U.S. adult Internet users look up information on Wikipedia.

A Pew Internet and American Life Project survey found that 53 percent of U.S. adults who surf the Internet consult the user-generated online encyclopedia.

Pew said that 62 percent of Internet users under the age of 30 use the service, along with 33 percent of Internet users over the age of 65.

According to the survey, 52 percent of online adults between the ages of 30 and 49 use Wikipedia and 49 percent of those between the ages 50 and 64 use the online encyclopedia.

Pew said that Wikipedia use was highest among Internet users with a college degree, with 69 percent saying they use the site compared with 41 percent of online adults with only a high school diploma.

The survey said using Wikipedia is more popular than sending instant messages, an activity that 47 percent of Internet users engaged in.  However, it was still less popular than using social networking sites. 

Pew's survey consisted of 2,252 adults and was conducted in April and May of last year.  It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, launched the online encyclopedia on January 15, 2001.


On the Net: