Fifteen Percent of Americans Are Offline. Here’s Who They Are.
A survey by Pew’s Internet & American Life Project found that 85% of American adults use the Internet. So who are the 15% who don’t?
The report, released today, found that Internet use is strongly tied to age. A staggering 98% of adults under 30 use the Internet. From there, the percentage of non-users decreases as age increases. While 50- to 64-year-olds are still largely connected, 17% report not going online. But two thirds of those born before 1947 are offline.
Adults over the age of 64 comprise about half of non-users. So, as demographics shift and today’s Internet users grow older, the number of offline seniors will decrease.
Internet use also correlates to household income. A quarter of those making less than $30,000 per year are non-Internet users. That makes sense: One in five non-users cited the price of owning a computer or paying for Internet access as the greatest reason for being offline.
Another 32% of respondents report that use issues kept them from accessing the Internet. They answered that using the Internet was “too difficult / frustrating,” that they were “worried about privacy,” and or that they were “too old to learn.”
But for even more offline Americans, the barrier isn’t usability or access, but interest. More than a third of non-users cite the Internet’s irrelevance to their lives as the primary reason that they remain offline. That means that 5% of American adults think the Internet is just not worth their time.
Even though they don’t use it themselves, many non-users have still had some form of indirect experience with the Internet. A third of them are former Internet users and/or live with others who use the Internet, and 44% have asked others to use the Internet on their behalf.
Only 8% offline adults express interest in using the Internet in the future. It seems that you really can’t teach an old dog new tricks—especially if the dog is unwilling to learn.
(For those of you who care about this sort of thing, the margin of error for results based on all adults is 2.3 at a 95% level of confidence.)
Source: “Who’s Not Online and Why,” by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project
- About WFS
- Contact Us
- Frequently Asked Questions
- History of WFS
- Board and Council
- Press Room
- Futurist Gear
- Are You the Next CEO of the World Future Society?
- Book a WFS / Futurist Magazine Speaker
Essays and comments posted in World Future Society and THE FUTURIST magazine blog portion of this site are the intellectual property of the authors, who retain full responsibility for and rights to their content. For permission to publish, distribute copies, use excerpts, etc., please contact the author. The opinions expressed are those of the author. The World Future Society takes no stand on what the future will or should be like.
Free Email Newsletter
Sign up for Futurist Update, our free monthly email newsletter. Just type your email into the box below and click subscribe.
December 13, 2013 - When you visit the Sphero site you watch a video of what people do with this "smart ball" which comes in two versions, one that rolls at a rate of about a meter (3 feet) per second and costs $79.99 U.S., and its souped up cousi
December 13, 2013 - It seems appropriate to talk about Canada's revised Arctic claims on a Friday the 13th of December in the year 2013. The only thing that would make it even more appropriate if there was a 13th month to the calendar.
December 12, 2013 - Some food for thought before the arrival of Christmas 2013 and the developing of resolutions for the coming year 2014.
What is in our near future? What I hope and what I think are two different things. As a result I ask and suggest some answers to these three questions:
December 12, 2013 - Yesterday I wrote about Memoir, a smartphone app that creates a living diary of things past and present, organizing what you have seen, where you have been and who you have met without you doin
SYSTEM FAILURE. A simple two-word error message summarizes virtually every major news headline over the past five years. In fact, it is difficult to name a single public institution which we hold in high esteem. Government. Healthcare. Education. Religion. Even libraries are being brought into question regarding their relevance for the future. How did we get here?
December 11, 2013 - Do you keep a diary? I did when I was a lot younger but not today. My daughter continues to keep a diary and goes back to read her entries. In fact on vacations she often brings her diaries as reading material.
How sustainable is cloud computing? That’s a question worth asking following a Cisco engineer’s public forecast that
December 11, 2013 - The world is awash in plastic of which clear polymers represent the dominant material particularly in bottles. The residue of these can take a half millennia to breakdown but not to worry.