Wikipedia, the “multilingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia project,” was created in 2001 and celebrates its tenth anniversary on January 15, 2011.
The percentage of all American adults who use Wikipedia to look for information has increased from 25% in February 2007 to 42% in May 2010. This translates to 53% of adult internet users.
Education level continues to be the strongest predictor of Wikipedia use. The collaborative encyclopedia is most popular among internet users with at least a college degree, 69% of whom use the site. Broadband use remains another predictor, as 59% of those with home broadband use the service, compared with 26% of those who connect to the internet through dial-up. Additionally, Wikipedia is generally more popular among those with annual household incomes of at least $50,000, as well as with young adults: 62% of internet users under the age of 30 using the service, compared with only 33% of internet users age 65 and older.
In the scope of general online activities, using Wikipedia is more popular than sending instant messages (done by 47% of internet users) or rating a product, service, or person (32%), but is less popular than using social network sites (61%) or watching videos on sites like YouTube (66%).
About the Survey
This report is based on the findings of a daily tracking survey on Americans' use of the Internet. The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International between April 29 and May 30, 2010, among a sample of 2,252 adults ages 18 and older, including 744 reached on a cell phone. Interviews were conducted in English. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling and other random effects is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. For results based on cell phone owners (n=1,917), the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting telephone surveys may introduce some error or bias into the findings of opinion polls. For more information, please see the Methodology section
of this report.