As Americans learn to live with the internet, the US online population has surged past the 200 million mark and home access is closing on 100%. Nielsen//NetRatings reports that nearly 75% of Americans have access to the Internet from home, up from 66% in February 2003.

In just a handful of years, online access has managed to gain the type oftraction that took other mediums decades to achieve,' said Kenneth Cassar,director of strategic analysis, Nielsen//NetRatings.

Unlike the internet of old, where web usage was a pastime skewed towards a younger, academic, male audience the figures now show women use the web more than men, that the age group that uses it most is 35-54 and it is gaining significant traction as a life-management tool.

Nielsen//NetRatings reports that women represent a higher proportion ofWeb surfers, with 82% of women between the ages of 35-54 accessing the Internet at home.

'Women make the majority of purchases and household decisions, so it's no surprise that they are utilizing the Internet as a tool for daily living,' said Cassar.