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A Publication of WTVP

It should come as no surprise that Americans are processing more information than ever. A study conducted by the University of California, San Diego, found that in 2008, Americans consumed information for about 1.3 trillion hours, an average of about 12 hours per person per day. Over the entire year, Americans consumed about 3.6 zettabytes, or one billion trillion bytes, of information, and about 10,845 trillion words—more than 100,000 words and about 34 gigabytes per person per day.

And this consumption isn’t just coming from reading books, magazines and newspapers. Not only do we glean information—defined by researchers as “flows of data delivered to people”—from traditional sources, but also from text messages, video and computer games, satellite radio and internet videos. Video sources dominate these bytes of information, with 1.3 zettabytes from television and about two zettabytes of computer games.

Roger Bohn, one of the study’s authors, told the New York Times that while traditional media has declined, “if you add up the amount of time people spend surfing the Web, they are actually reading more than ever.”

To download the How Much Information? 2009 Report on American Consumers, or for more information on the study’s methodology, visit hmi.ucsd.edu/howmuchinfo.php. iBi

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