Wikipedia‘s share of US Internet visits placed it at #13 in the Hitwise Education/Reference category at the beginning of 2004. In mid-April 2005 Wikipedia’s total Internet share of visits skyrocketed by 618%, making it the second most visited reference website overall. While Wikipedia is now the most visited online encyclopedia, its traffic levels are just shy of Dictionary.com. However, looking at the HitWise data, it outshines About.com, Answers.com, Encarta, Merriam-Webster OnLine and Free Translation.
With 536,246 ongoing articles and 1,540,695 pages, Wikipedia’s massive pool of consumer-generated content is increasingly becoming a magnet for consumer searches. Wikipedia’s audience was evenly split between males and females. However, the audience was highly skewed toward younger Internet users, with 18-24 year-olds being 50% more likely to visit. The propensity of Internet users in different states to visit Wikipedia was mostly average, however users with household incomes over $150K were 34% more likely to visit.