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IA Releases New Economic Data Showing Billions Of Dollars In Value Created By The Internet Not Included In GDP

“It’s easy to forget how much time, money, and frustration we can save thanks to the services developed by IA member companies.”

Michael Beckerman, IA President & CEO

Washington, DC – IA today released a new economic study entitled “Understanding The Value Of The Internet.” The report offers new and alternative measurements for the economic contribution of the internet to Americans’ lives that might be missed by traditional measures like GDP. The report finds the average person gains close to $32,000 from free online services each year, to name one example.

“The free and low-cost services enabled by the internet create immense value in people’s lives,” said IA President and CEO Michael Beckerman. “It’s easy to forget how much time, money, and frustration we can save thanks to the services developed by IA member companies. This new research offers an important perspective on that value.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Approximately 33 percent of U.S. adults – 82 million people – earned income online in May 2019. Among those earning an income online, they made approximately $1,190 on average. In total, that equates to an additional approximately $97.4 billion of income to those individuals and for the U.S. economy.
  • The average person gains a value equivalent to approximately $32,000 from free services on the internet. The consumer surplus – how much you’d need to be paid to give up a service – associated with online services including search, email, maps, video, e-commerce, social media, messaging, and music totals just over $32,000.
  • The internet provides Americans with $326 billion worth of reclaimed time each year during commutes and other downtime you previously couldn’t use. If we multiply the estimated value of one minute of internet time by every adult in the U.S. over the course of a year, the internet provides Americans up to about $326 billion worth of reclaimed time.
  • Without the internet, 40 million people would be unable to participate in their hobby, activity, or passion of choice. Approximately 16 percent of all U.S. adults, could not do so without the tools, resources, and support found on the internet.

To read the full report, click here.