Online video sites like YouTube have become significantly more popular during the past year.

Almost half of online adults (48%) said they have visited video Web sites, according to a report issued Wednesday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. A year ago, that figure stood at 33%. That reflects 45% year-to-year growth.

Some 15% of respondents said they had used a video-sharing site only a day before taking the survey, up from 8% who said as much a year earlier, an increase of almost 50%.

Survey data was drawn from 2,054 Americans, age 18 and older, between Oct. 24 and Dec. 2. Of those, 1,359 Internet users responded to the video-sharing question.

“The dramatic growth in the population using video-sharing sites is tied at least in part to the popularity of such sites among men, younger adults (under 30), and college graduates,” the report says. “Nearly a third of wired young adults (30%) watch video on a site like YouTube on a typical day and fully a fifth of online men (20%) do the same.”

The report also notes that other demographic groups show a surge in online video site usage, just not as much.

The Pew report arrives just two months after the National Endowment for the Arts published “To Read or Not to Read: A Question of National Consequence,” a report that documents the continuation of a decades-long decline in reading skill and reading frequency in America. The NEA report found that among Americans ages 18 to 24, almost half read no books for pleasure all year.

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