A new study from eMarketer predicts that by 2014, 77.8% of the U.S. population will use the Internet at least once per month.  That’s up from 66.8% in 2008.  However, the study reveals more interesting information related to the demographics of the growing population of Internet users in the United States.

The chart below shows that Internet use will grow significantly within the African American and Hispanic ethnic groups from just over half of each demographic segment using the Internet in 2008 to nearly three-quarters using it by 2014.

The growth predictions shown above demonstrate the growing opportunities for online publishers to reach broad, varied audiences across the Internet with a need for niche content that meets the specific interests and needs of the diverse online audience.

It’s important to note that ethnic diversity isn’t the only demographic trend affecting the online audience.  Research shows that Internet users are getting older, too, meaning that an older audience who once avoided the Internet is now embracing it, particularly through the tools of the social Web.

Again, the growing and transforming Internet audience presents new opportunities for content publishers to connect with more people or highly targeted groups in order to reach their goals.  It’s an exciting time to be an online publisher!