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3 out of 4 adults use Internet, survey says

NEW YORK -- The US online population has hit a record high: 73 percent of adults, or 147 million, now use the Internet.

The figures represent an increase from 66 percent, or 133 million adults, in January 2005, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project.

But only 42 percent of all adults, or 84 million, have the home high-speed connections important for viewing video and treating the Internet as an always-on reference. Looking only at home Internet users, 62 percent have broadband.

In a report yesterday, Pew noted that Internet use still varies with age and income.

Eighty-eight percent of adults under 30 go online, compared with 32 percent of those 65 and older.

Only 53 percent of adults in households earning less than $30,000 a year use the Internet, compared with 91 percent in households with annual income exceeding $75,000.

The phone-based survey of 4,001 adults, done Feb. 15-April 6, has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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