U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature: The Personal Computer

By U.S. Census Bureau, Special for  USDR

Friday, August 12th. This date 35 years ago is significant in the advance of the digital age. On August 12, 1981, IBM introduced its model 5150 — which soon became known simply as the “PC.” There had been consumer computer models for some years before, such as the early Apple and Commodore, but the IBM machine marked a turning point in acceptance due to the manufacturer’s prominence. The company was famous for its pioneering, large mainframe computers, and even by 1984, barely over 8 percent of American households had personal computers. Now, about 84 percent of American households have computers, with the Asian-American population’s figure reaching 95 percent. Over 96 percent of college graduates live in homes with at least one computer. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at  www.census.gov.

Sources:
History:  http://inventors.about.com/od/computersandinternet/a/Ibm-Pc.htm
Product debut:  http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/exhibits/pc25/pc25_intro.html
1984/figure 1:  http://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p20-569.pdf
Computers in households/table 2:  http://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2014/acs/acs-28.pdf

Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotion of the U.S. Census Bureau. Statistics and accounts drawn from cited non-Census sources are employed for illustrative or narrative purposes, and are not attested to by the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on the Internet athttp://www.census.gov (look for “Audio” in the “Library” pull-down  menu).

SOURCE U.S. Census  Bureau

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