Thanks for your patience on this while I worked up the numbers.
For starters, let's turn to a report from the Department of Commerce
that provides a wealth of information on both overall internet use and
broadband penetration. The report is here:
A Nation Online: Entering the Broadband Age
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
I would suggest looking through this entire document, but the
information of particular interest to you -- broadband use by
household incomes -- is presented in the Appendix:
Appendix Table 1: Internet Use from Any Location by Individuals Age 3
and Older, September 2001 and October 2003 and Living in a Home with
Internet Broadband Age 3 and Older, October 2003
[Percent of population that] Lives in a Broadband Household
TOTAL POPULATION -- 22.8%
Less than $15,000 -- 7.5%
$25,000 - $34,999--13.4%
$50,000 - $74,999--27.9%
$75,000 & above--45.4%
$150,000 & above -- 57.7%
As you can see, broadband use climbs rapidly and steadily with income,
reaching a peak for this survey of 57.7% (in October 2003) of homes
with $150,000+ income.
Some additional information on the breakouts of broadband types are
presented in Appendix Table 4: Household?s Internet Connection Type,
October 2003, which shows that, for $150,000+ households, 33.1% have
broadband via cable modems, and 25.6% use DSL.
The above report provides good detail up through 2003. Some
subsequent private-sector surveys have more current data, although
they are not quite as detailed as one might like (at least in terms of
the publicly released information).
One such very recent (dated today!) item can be found here:
Broadband Boosts E-Commerce, New Media Adoption
June 1, 2005
...[report from] Goldman Sachs, "Americas Technology: Internet," which
forecasts growth for broadband, e-commerce, new media and advertising.
...Broadband reached a tipping point this year. Over 50 percent of
households subscribe to high-speed Internet access. That number is
expected to reach 59 percent by the end of 2005. The report points out
35 percent of narrowband subscribers plan to upgrade to broadband at
the $35 price point, though the cost must drop below $29 for
significant conversions from dial-up users, unless there's a severe
decline of narrowband functionality.
So, we have the Dept of Commerce report that puts broadband use (for
all income ranges) at 22.8% in 2003, and this latest report that
projects a 59% penetration rate by the end of 2005. In other words,
broadband use has skyrocketed in the past two years, more than
doubling. More households have broadband than don't.
In addition, the use of broadband in the general population in 2005 is
higher than it was for the upper income households in 2003 (59% vs
Although upper-income data isn't provided in the newest report, it is
reasonable to assume that broadband use in upper income homes has also
had a rapid increase, and that the overall penetration is probably in
the 90% range.
Another report lends credence to this estimate:
Broadband: High Speed, High Spend
January 24, 2005
...The number of U.S. at-home broadband users increased 36 percent in
2004, accounting for 55 percent of the total U.S. at-home users by the
end of December, according to the latest data from
A chart of the growth trends referenced in the above report is shown here:
Broadband Growth Trend, 1999-2005
and projects overall broadband penetration of about 73% by October
2005. The report is a bit ambiguous in terms of how the define this
number. I can't say categorically that it's directly comparable to
the statistics from other reports. But still, it shows the phenomenal
growth of broadband use in the general population, and what must
certainly be very high penetration rates in upper income households.
I threw a lot of numbers at you, and I hope they are clearly
presented, and I trust you have everything you need at this point.
However, please don't rate this answer until you have everything you
need. If you would like any additional information, just post a
Request for Clarification to let me know how I can assist you further,
and I'm at your service.
All the best,
search strategy -- Used bookmarked sites for internet demographic reports.