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BizReport : Internet : April 17, 2012

Pew: One in five Americans aren't online

Everyone in the U.S. is online, aren't they? Not according to a new study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project that shows one in five Americans do not use the Internet.

by Helen Leggatt

pew.jpgShock! Horror! Some people are resisting the urge to log on, according to Pew's latest research.

Who are they?

"Senior citizens, those who prefer to take our interviews in Spanish rather than English, adults with less than a high school education, and those living in households earning less than $30,000 per year are the least likely adults to have Internet access," Pew said.

Among those that don't use the Internet about half said their reason for avoiding the technology is because it's not useful or relevant to the, while many are just plain disinterested.

Other reasons cited by Internet virgins were cost, no access to a computer, difficulties with Internet connections, safety concerns and lack of time to learn new skills.

Of those that don't currently surf the Internet, just 10% are interested in learning the skills needed to do so.

Pew's survey also reveals that connecting to the Internet is no longer necessarily linked to desktop computer ownership. Almost 90% of Americans now own a mobile phone and over half (57%) have a laptop and around two-thirds use these devices to connect to the Internet via wireless.

"Groups that have traditionally been on the other side of the digital divide in basic Internet access are using wireless connections to go online," says Pew. "Among smartphone owners, young adults, minorities, those with no college experience, and those with lower household income levels are more likely than other groups to say that their phone is their main source of Internet access."

Tags: demographics, Internet use, Pew, research

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