Many Americans consider the internet to be a vital tool, using it to communicate with friends and family, shop, get the latest news, and search for information, among other things. A Pew Research Center poll performed from January 25 to February 8, 2021, found that 7 percent of people in the United States said they do not utilize the internet, even though it is widely available.
The Pew Research Center conducts monthly surveys of persons in the United States to determine their attitudes toward technology. According to a poll of 1,502 persons in the United States between January 25 and February 8, 2021, utilizing cellphones and landlines, this study investigates internet adoption rates among Americans. According to the poll’s weighting scheme, it should represent the adult population in the United States. It considers criteria including gender, race, ethnicity, age, household income, educational attainment, and community type.
Internet non-adoption has been proven to be connected with a range of demographic variables, with age being the most strongly associated with it — with elderly Americans continuing to be one of the least likely groups to use the internet. An overwhelming majority of persons over the age of 65 say they have never used the internet, compared to only a tiny fraction of adults under the age of 65 who say the same.
Additionally, a person’s educational achievement and household income are indicators of their propensity to remain away from the computer. People with a high school diploma or more minor do not have access to the internet. However, the proportion of people who do has a decreasing proportion of those with higher educational attainment. When comparing adults who live in households with annual household incomes of less than $30,000 to those who live in households with annual household incomes of $75,000 or more, those who live in households with annual household incomes of less than $30,000 are significantly more likely to indicate that they do not use the internet (14 percent vs. 1 percent ).
Women outnumber males in non-internet use, and there are no statistically significant differences across races and ethnicities or between different types of communities. However, even though some groups continue to have lower internet adoption rates than others, the vast majority of Americans are now online, thanks to ongoing government and social sector initiatives to promote internet use in underserved areas. Over time, it has been observed that the offline population of the United States has been shrinking. For some groups, the decline has been remarkably rapid. When it comes to people aged 65 and older, for example, in 2000, 86 percent did not have access to the internet; today, that proportion has reduced to only a quarter of the population.
Compared to the beginning of the year, the proportion of people aged 50 to 64 who do not have access to the internet has reduced by eight percentage points, from 12 to 4 percent. Thus, over that period, the number of Black and Hispanic individuals who do not have access to the internet has declined considerably, falling from 15 percent to 9 percent among Black and from 14 percent to 5 percent among those who are Hispanic.
While 14 percent of Americans with a high school education or less do not use the internet, the rate drops to 3 percent among those with some college education and 2 percent among those with a bachelor’s degree or higher within five years after becoming a citizen.
Moreover, according to Pew, household income is a predictor of connectivity, with 14 percent of adults who live in homes earning less than $30,000 per year stating that they have never accessed the internet.
It is estimated that the number of people who do not use the internet decreases to 9 percent among households earning $30,000 to $49,000 per year and even further to 2 percent among households earning $50,000 to $74,999 per year, based on Census Bureau data; the figure drops even further to 2 percent among households earning $100,000 or more per year.
“There were no statistically significant differences in non-internet use between genders, races, and ethnicities, or community types,” according to the findings of the study, which was published in the journal Science. The percentage of Hispanic and black adults who say they never use the internet has dropped to 5 percent and 9 percent, respectively, from the previous year.
Also discovered by researchers was that a full ten percent of adults in rural areas never use the internet, compared to six percent of adults in suburban areas and five percent of adults in urban areas — and that a slightly higher proportion of women (7 percent) than men (6 percent) claim they never go online at any time.