Internet usage among Americans surpassed 50 percent for the first time last year, according to a U.S. Commerce Department report set to be released Tuesday. The report found that 143 million Americans, or 54 percent of the country, were using the Internet as of September, up from 26 percent the previous year. Other interesting statistics contained in the report, as noted by The Wall Street Journal [paid subscription required]: 174 million Americans (66 percent) were using computers as of September, while 48 million Americans between the ages of five and 17 (90 percent of that age group) were using computers; and Web usage among blacks, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans grew 33, 30, and 20 percent, respectively, from the previous year.