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Pew Study: 15% of U.S. Adults Not Online
Pew Study: 15% of U.S. Adults Not Online

By Seth Fitzgerald
September 25, 2013 1:58PM

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Out of all the reasons that people do not use the Internet, one of the most common trends centers around education or lack thereof, according to research firm Pew Internet. It's not surprising to see that people with less education are less likely to be online, but the actual details are quite telling.
 



In 2000, Pew Internet came out with a report showing that half of all American adults do not have access to or do not use the Internet. Well, to say the least, a lot has changed since 2000.

Pew Internet has come out with a new report detailing how many American adults are now online. As of May 2013, the research shows that 85 percent of adults do use the Internet. But there is still a relatively large group -- roughly 15 percent of adult Americans -- who refrain from using the Internet or e-mail.

Who Are These People?

It is not surprising to see that, overall, the people not using the Internet are either older, uneducated, or poor, and, of course, there are some people who do not have physical access to the Internet.

Thirty-four percent of non-Internet users stated that they have not made the jump to being online as they do not see a reason to do so. Thirty-two percent of non-Internet users actually feel that the Internet may be too difficult to use or that they have security concerns regarding the Internet such as spyware and spam.

Pew notes that the number of people refraining from Internet use due to privacy concerns is higher than in prior surveys. This may have a connection to recent government programs that have made staying private online difficult, although Pew did not elaborate on that point.

Only 7 percent of the 15 percent of adults in the U.S. who are not online cited physical inaccessibility to the Internet. However, these same people are likely unemployed since Pew accounts for people who have Internet access at work under the "Internet user" label.

Education and Money Affect Access

Out of all the reasons that people do not use the Internet, one of the most common trends centered around education (or lack thereof). It's not surprising to see that people with less education are less likely to be online, but the actual details are of interest.

In 2013, 41 percent of people without high school diplomas did not use the Internet. That number is even more significant when compared to similar data for college graduates, showing that just 4 percent of people with higher education do not go online.

Outside of education (although there is a correlation between available money and schooling), financial troubles greatly affect Internet use. People in households making less than $30,000 per year are offline 24 percent of the time. However, just 4 percent of people in households making $70,000 or more are offline.

Surprisingly, not all of the people who lack a presence online have been away from the Internet for their entire lives. Around 14 percent of those surveyed stated that although they used to use the Internet, they have since stopped going online for various reasons.
 

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