Pew Research: A Quarter of American Adults are Online Constantly

A follow up to a 2015 study by Pew Research Center shows that the common wisdom that people are spending more time online is true. Researchers found substantial increases in the frequency of internet usage among American adults.

Research conducted in January found that 26% of American adults go online “almost constantly,” a 5% increase from 2015. Pew found that 77% of Americans go online daily. In addition to the 26% who are there almost constantly, 43% go online several times a day and 8% once a day. Eleven percent go online several times weekly or less and 11% do not use the Internet at all.

Frequency of Internet Usage

It’s not surprising that mobile devices are an important factor in the rising use of the Internet. Pew says that 83% of Americans at least occasionally use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to go online. Of these, 89% go online daily and 31% go online almost constantly. By comparison, among those who go online but without mobile devices, 54% do so daily and 5% say they do so almost constantly.

Another non-surprising result from the research is that young adults are leading the charge. Thirty-nine percent of 19- to 29-year-olds say that they are online almost constantly and 49% report doing so multiple times per day. That compares with 8% and 30%, respectively, for those older than 64. Thirty-six percent of those in the middle – ages 30 to 49 – are almost constantly online. That percentage is 12 percent higher than in 2015.  The percentage of constantly online Americans age 50 to 64 has risen from 12% to 17% during this period.

Thirty-four percent of college educated adults go online almost constantly compared to 20% of those with a high school diploma or less. Pew says that 92% of college educated respondents go online daily. Thirty-seven percent of African-Americans use the Internet almost constantly, compared to 30% of Hispanics and 23% of whites. The percent of almost constantly online African-Americans and Hispanics has risen 14 percent and 11 percent, respectively. The percentage among whites has stayed constant.

Finally, 35% of adults with annual household incomes of $75,000 or greater use the Internet almost constantly and 91% use it daily. Among those with incomes of less than $30,000, 24 percent use the Internet almost constantly. Thirty-two percent of urban adults use the Internet almost constantly, while 27% in suburban areas and 15% in rural areas do so. Read MORE>>>


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