Desktops, Windows 7, and Internet Explorer bring in high traffic to US government websites

Sean Michael

National Mall at Sunrise

Desktop searches outnumber mobile searches more than two to one and Internet Explorer is only 7% less used than Chrome when it comes to searches of United States government websites. These figures come from, a website that compiles data regarding the sources of visits to websites of the US government. While the site compiles statistics from 3800 websites, it is not representative of every single site from the US government.

Over the last ninety days there were 1.41 billion visits to the US government websites the analytics do cover. They break down those visits according to web browser and operating system.

While mobile devices are a massive force in the technology market, they only represent 24.8% of visits to US government websites. An even lower 7.5% of visits come from tablets. That’s not too surprising considering the nature of their most popular sites. In the last 30 days well over 120 million of their visits were and While those sites may work on mobile, many people do their taxes at a computer and have apps to check the weather.

US Goverment site traffic

Possibly as a result of the desktop dominance for visiting their sites, Internet Explorer constitutes 28.3% of US government site traffic. That’s good for second best among browsers. It’s short of Chrome’s 34.9% but not by as large of a margin as one might expect. Specifically IE 11 brings in over half their Internet Explorer traffic at 14.8%.

Another reason IE may do so well when it comes to these numbers is that Windows operating systems make up 58.5% of all visits to these sites. 41.6% of those visits come through Windows 7 and only 9.9% from Windows 8.1 (another 1.3% curiously come from Windows 8). The closest OS in terms of visits is iOS at 16.4%.

This is a very specific subset of websites but at least in the sphere of visitors of US government webpages any jokes about Internet Explorer not being used are unfounded. In addition to a strong presence among browser traffic, Microsoft dominates the amount of visits to US government sites almost four to one over iOS.

While doing research for this article one thought did come to mind. If the US government is in debt and gets 1.4 billion visits to 3800 websites in only 90 days, why don’t they sell ads to those sites? I’m sure a company that makes software for doing taxes would pay a fortune to be sponsored on