Nearly three in four Utah households own a computer, a higher percentage than in any other state, according to a new census report.

Fifty-five percent of American households had access to the Internet at home in 2003, more than triple the percentage in 1997, according to a report released this week by the U.S. Census Bureau.

In Utah, there were computers in an estimated 596,000 households. Some 503,000 households, or 63 percent, were online — the nation’s fifth highest rate of Internet usage. That’s up from 14th in a 2001 census survey, said Robert Spendlove, manager of demographic and economic analysis for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget.

Spendlove said Utah matches national trends of Internet usage, which increased with education, income and the presence of school-age children at home. It was lowest among adults who have not graduated from high school, the report found.

It helps to have a locally-based corporation like Novell leading core urban business in gifts to education.

Utah has the lowest median age, the largest household size and one of the highest educational attainments, Spendlove said.

“A lot of characteristics point to (Utah) having a tech-savvy population,” he said. “It positions Utah well for the future. . . . Things like biotech and genetics rely on a well-educated, tech-savvy work force.”

School-age children are most likely to use home computers to play games or do schoolwork, the report found. Adults are most likely to use home computers for e-mail, to search for information about products and services, and to read news, weather and sports information.

Advertisers are taking advantage of increased Internet use, said Stuart, who expects Internet advertising revenue to reach nearly $12 billion this year, more than double the amount from five years ago.

But even as Internet access increases, computer users are being more careful about sharing personal information online.

A survey released this week by Consumer Reports Webwatch found that 86 percent of computer users have changed their online behavior in some way because of concerns about identity theft. A little more than half stopped giving out personal information on the Web, while 25 percent said they stopped making online purchases.

People stopped making online purchases because of their fears? These must be the people who were buying flu vaccine for $125 a pop at a .ru site or bidding for Elvis’ motorcycle on eBay.

  1. Dan says:

    I live in Utah – yeah!

  2. Nearly every man in Utah has 3 wives and 12 kids. 🙂

  3. Dan 2 says:

    Lets a good one “Brill”… Have not heard that joke before…

  4. Martin Thomas says:

    I don’t think Novell has much, if anything, to do with it. In Utah, Novell is known mostly for buying WordPerft, trashing it, and have having massive lay-offs. Most folks either don’t know of Novell or have hateful distain for the organization. For those that know of it, Novell is viewed as an outdated, has-been network company that has been a poor corporate citizen.

    The small community (pop. ~25,000) where I live owns it’s own broadband internet service which is available via underground lines to every home in the communicity. Progressive local and state govenement leadership, such as this, has a lot to do with the wide spread use of computers.

  5. “Mormonism is a unique heritage which has shaped the past, and continues to impact the state’s future. Today, approximately 70% of Utah’s residents are members of the LDS church. Mormonism today is a part of everyday life throughout the world, but because of the concentration of LDS church members in Utah, Mormon culture distinguishes the area.”


    I am not attacking Mormons, nor do intend to offend. just stating a fact.

  6. garym says:

    Reading this like this always amaze me. I grew up in Utah, and, even though I don’t live there any more, I am always amazed at how progressive and forward the education system is there. As a non-Mormon, I am still proud to be from there.
    Unfortunately, no matter where I go, I always run into people like Richard who hold stereotypes and falsehoods to be truth and even in the face of proof, refuse to admit that they are wrong.
    To the people of Utah, I say “Good job and keep up the good work.”
    To the people like Richard, I say…get a life.

  7. James Hill says:

    I moved to Utah five years ago to work for a tech company, and have since moved to a company that does software development in Salt Lake (that actually makes money). I can confirm that Novell and Word Perfect are looked to as the past, and that the influx of technology in this community has more to do with education (of which, some is dictated from the LDS church).

    I also agree that the progressive stance taken by local politicians on the topic is helping. Do a search on the UTOPIA project for proof. This kind of thing wouldn’t happen in most places, and not without major political support.

    Off topic: Don’t let morons like Richard bother you, regardless of your religion. Be happy that, with an attitude like his, its very unlikley that Richard will ever breed. His DNA will not be passed on, which is for the good of mankind. And, if you couldn’t guess, I’m not Mormon…

  8. meetsy says:

    What else is there to do in MOST OF UTAH? It’s even more desolate and dry and..full of tumbleweed than Nevada. The passing cow and sheep butts get really OLD after a while, I’m sure.

  9. Steadmans says:

    thats funny we really love computers here


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