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How Many Americans Still Not Online?

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Saturday August 4, 2012 )

I was looking back at one of my old posts stating 27% of US adults weren’t online. How much has that number changed in the last 6 or so years?

Back in early 2006, 73% of all American adults were online according to Pew Internet and American Life Project. I was thinking that number must have reached 90% by now; but as it turns out, it’s nowhere close to that figure.

According to figures released earlier this year – again from Pew – one in five American adults still do not use the Internet.

The reason? Well, it’s not so much older folks holding out. In 2006, only 32% of folks aged 65 and over were only – that’s grown significantly, to 41%.

It seems almost half of those who don’t go online abstain because they don’t think the Internet is relevant to them.

Additionally, about one in five say they don’t know enough about technology to start using the internet on their own and only one in ten indicated they were interested in using the internet or email in the future.

Pew states 27% of adults living with disability in the U.S. are far less likely than adults without a disability to go online (54% vs. 81%). Furthermore, 2% of adults have a disability or illness that makes it more difficult or impossible for them to use the internet at all.

So of the 20% of US adults not online, only a small chunk of those people may possibly end up using the Internet regularly in the future.

I find it fascinating that so many people feel the Internet isn’t relevant to them as I’ve never met anyone that applies to.

The Pew Digital Differences survey was fielded from July 25-August 26, 2011 and involved 2,260 respondents – adults age 18 and older.


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