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Online Habits of Americans and Canadians

Americans like football, MySpace, and text messaging. Canadians like hockey, Facebook, and playing the lottery. What do they have in common? Both can't get enough of the Internet.

These are some of the key findings from an Ipsos study that investigated the behaviors, lifestyles and habits of American and Canadian young adults ages 18-34, the emerging market of young consumers.

"Bombarded by changing technology and a barrage of marketing messages, North American young adults are living in a culture unlike anything we've seen before," says Paul Lauzon, Senior Vice President with Ipsos Reid.

But when it comes to the way Americans and Canadians in the 18-34 year-old age group play, communicate, and use media, it is a sure bet there are cultural differences and nuances marketers need to understand to better reach this audience.

When asked about their leisure activity time, Americans and Canadians have a clear affinity for the Internet and television.

Young adults in both countries reported nearly an identical amount of time spent on the Internet each week: Americans reported being actively connected to the Internet an average of 28 hours per week; Canadians reported being connected one hour less over the same time frame.

On a daily average, Americans in the age group watch about an hour more television per day than Canadians. On weekdays, Americans reported watching an average of 5.9 hours per day, Canadians watched 4.8 hours. On weekends, Americans watched an average of 5.5 hours, Canadians watched 4.6 hours.

When comparing the lottery and gambling habits, and interest of American and Canadian young adults, some interesting differences unfold.

Canadians are more apt to play the lottery than Americans. In the past year, 80 percent of Canadians ages 18-34 have played a lottery game. In the United States, only 63 percent of Americans in the same age bracket have played lottery games.

That being the case, Americans are more interested in playing lottery games on the Internet than Canadians. When asked, almost half (46 percent) of Americans within the group said they would be interested in playing lottery games in the Internet. Only less than a third (31 percent) of their Canadian counterparts expressed an interest.

Americans are currently more likely to play games on the Internet for real money -- 28 vs. 20 percent in Canada. Yet American young adults are more likely to perceive online gambling as illegal than those in Canada -- 31 vs. 19 percent.

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