America's Information Boom

November 3, 1978

Report Outline
Data Influx and Management
Advances in Data Gathering
Future of Communications
Special Focus

Data Influx and Management

Rising Demand for Information Services

How many electric toothbrushes were sold in the United States last year? What is the current and projected U.S. pet population? How many missiles do the Russians have in Eastern Europe? These questions are typical of the inquiries fueling America's latest high-growth enterprise — the information industry.

Demand for information in the United States is increasing at the rate of 30 percent per year, according to one estimate. That upsurge has been met in part by the publishing trade, which produced over 42,000 books in 1977. Also meeting the challenge are the proliferating number of “information-on-demand” companies that provide their clients with essential, often difficult to obtain, facts and figures. “Without the complex system of indexes, data bases, microforms, directories and other information tools the industry uses, our society would be paralyzed and unable to locate the goods and services it needs,” Paul Zurkowski, president of the Information Industry Association, said recently.

In little over a decade, the capabilities of most information-supply companies have expanded considerably. In 1966, according to Free Enterprise magazine, there were in this country only 18 computer-assisted data banks whose stores of information could be retrieved and displayed on video terminals or printouts. These 18 data bases, maintained by government agencies and private industries, contained approximately 20,000 items of information. By 1976, the latest year for which statistics are available, there were 360 such data banks, with more than 71 million stored entries.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Feb. 28, 2020  Cyberwarfare
Apr. 20, 2018  Technology Addiction
Oct. 06, 2017  Cyberwarfare Threat
Feb. 26, 2016  Virtual Reality
Feb. 12, 2016  Video Games and Learning
Jan. 15, 2016  The Dark Web
Feb. 15, 2013  Improving Cybersecurity
Apr. 13, 2012  Internet Regulation
Sep. 16, 2011  Computer Hacking
Sep. 24, 2010  Impact of the Internet on Thinking
Feb. 26, 2010  Cybersecurity
Aug. 01, 2008  Internet Accuracy
May 02, 2008  Cyberbullying
Jul. 28, 2006  Cyber Socializing
May 12, 2006  Controlling the Internet
Jun. 10, 2005  Identity Theft
Sep. 17, 2004  Cyberpolitics
Sep. 26, 2003  Cybersecurity
Apr. 12, 2002  Cyber-Crime
Oct. 27, 2000  Computers and Medicine
May 26, 2000  Future of Computers
Jan. 28, 2000  The Digital Divide
Feb. 05, 1999  Digital Commerce
Jun. 30, 1995  Regulating the Internet
May 21, 1993  Software Piracy
Sep. 30, 1988  Management's High-Tech Challenge
Jan. 09, 1987  Power Surge in Personal Computers
Feb. 13, 1981  The Computer Age
Nov. 03, 1978  America's Information Boom
Jan. 06, 1978  Computer Crime
May 12, 1971  Reappraisal of Computers
Jul. 25, 1962  Approach to Thinking Machines
Internet and Social Media
Print Media