Tag Archives: U.S.

Why don’t some adults use the Internet?

Amy Gahran has a nice breakdown as to why 1 in 5 U.S. adults don’t use the Internet.

The usual reasons are cited: age and lack of income, but there are some surprising findings. U.S. home broadband pentration dropped by four percentage points from 2010 to 2011. The recession clearly is affecting people’s abilities to get online, which may serve to deepen the recession.

Not being able to get online means that these people — often unemployed — will find it harder to find jobs and get government services. So much is done online now. When I was laid off at my last job, all of my job search was conducted online. I couldn’t imagine conducting a job search in 2012 without Internet and a computer at home.

People with disabilities are also less likely to go online and have home Internet. This tells me that too many websites are not accessible. Indeed, computers themselves still need to become more accessible.

Some nuggets from Amy’s post about those who aren’t using the Internet:

Mostly they’re older — 59% of U.S. seniors don’t go online. Also, nearly 60% of U.S. adults who never completed high school don’t use the Internet. And they’re mostly poor — nearly 40% of people with an annual household income under $30,000 don’t go online. (Pew notes that people with an annual household income under $20,000 are especially unlikely to use the Internet.)

People with disabilities also are more likely to not use the Internet. One- quarter of U.S. adults live with a disability that interferes with activities of daily life — and only 54% of these people are Internet users, Pew found.

Source: CNN.



76% of American Internet users get news online, almost all use search and email

It’s fascinating to see how ubiquitous all of these activities are getting. And look at social media: In 2007 it was around 17 percent and now it is at 65 percent. Just four years ago!

If you have the time, it’s worth checking out the full Pew report here.

A few other tidbits of interest:

  • 87 percent of those 65-and-older Internet users report using search engines. How can you go online and not use a search engine? All the demographics agree with that.
  • Those who graduated from college and have the highest income are the biggest users of search engines. 96 percent of college grads use search engines and 98 percent of those in the highest income bracket use search engines. Compare that to 81 percent for those with only some high school education and 90 percent for those in the lowest income bracket. Clearly education has a bigger impact on search engine use then income. Is it that going to college makes one more computer literate or that going to college makes one more of a knowledge seeker? Or that being a knowledge seeker inspires one to go to college?
  • People love email. There isn’t a huge difference between the different age demographics in email use, and contrary to many email-is-dead proclaimers, email usage is highest among the 18-29 set.