September 26, 2013, 9:14 AM

Internet adoption among U.S. adults rises to 85%

A year ago, 80% of U.S. adults used the web, Pew says.

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Internet adoption among U.S. adults has inched up five percentage points in the past year, reaching 85% this year, according to a newly released report from the Pew Research Center. A year ago 80% of U.S. adults reported using the web; five years ago 75% said the same. Of the 15% of U.S. adults that do not go online presently, 92% say they’re not interested in doing so now or in the future.

The Pew report is based on phone surveys taken among more than 2,200 adults in April and May. Among all adults surveyed, 76% say they use the Internet at home, and 71% say they have a home broadband connection. 3% have a dial-up connection at home.

U.S. adults who do not use the Internet or e-mail cite a number of reasons for not doing so: 21% just aren’t interested, 13% don’t have a computer, 10% say it is too difficult or frustrating, 8% say they don’t know how to go online and 8% say they are too old to learn.

44% of U.S. adults 65 and older do not use the Internet, Pew says, and adults in this age group comprise nearly half, 49%, of non-Internet users overall. Beyond age, the Pew report also examines Internet adoption levels according to education level attained, income, race and ethnicity, and location.

Among the findings:

  • 41% of adults who did not graduate high school are offline versus 4% who have a college degree
  • 24% of Hispanics are offline versus 15% of blacks and 14% of whites
  • 24% of households earning less than $30,000 annually are offline versus 4% that earn in excess of $75,000
  • 20% of adults who live in rural areas are offline versus 14% of adults residing in urban and suburban areas


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