Computers and the Internet

The Pew Internet & American Life Project tracks and analyzes how computers and the Web are changing today’s world. Its work helps the media, academics, policy makers and others to better understand technology’s impact on society.

The project explores the impact of the Internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life. Founded in 1999, it is an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a Pew subsidiary, and is housed in the center’s office in Washington, D.C.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project uses public opinion polling methods, such as nationwide telephone and online surveys, and other research tools to track issues and trends. These surveys are supplemented with research from government agencies, academia and other experts. Project staff observes what people do and how they behave when they are online as well as conducts in-depth interviews with Internet users and  industry experts.

The project’s research efforts result in 15 to 20 reports and data memos per year, varying in size and scope. Examples of the project’s groundbreaking studies are: the “digital divide” between rich and poor Americans; the impact of broadband Internet access on users; the influence of the Internet on the American electoral process; and social networking sites used by teenagers.

To learn more, visit the Pew Internet & American Life Project Web site.

  • Demographics

    The Pew Internet & American Life Project examines Internet use by various demographic segments. It gathers data on users by age, gender, race, marital status, education, income and more.
  • Education

    The Pew Internet & American Life Project issues reports on the ways that educators and students use and adapt the Internet in schools, including areas such as administration, teaching, learning, research and communication.
  • E-Gov and E-Policy

    The Pew Internet & American Life Project examines the ways in which national, state and local government officials have successfully, or unsuccessfully, used the Internet to conduct business, get elected and interact with constituents.
  • Family, Friends and Community

    The Internet affects Americans in their neighborhoods and workplaces, including their social dynamics and actions. The Pew Internet & American Life Project conducts research on the impact of online activities on Americans’ social life.
  • Health

    The Pew Internet & American Life Project compiles in-depth information about the ways Americans use the Internet to gather and share health news and information.
  • Internet Evolution

    The Pew Internet & American Life Project closely tracks the evolution of Internet trends — how Americans connect, how often, what activities they pursue online — and seeks the opinion of experts on  the Web’s long-term future.
  • Major News Events

    The Pew Internet & American Life Project conducts studies and carries out analysis of Internet use by everyday Americans in times of crisis, debate or events that dominate the headlines.
  • Online Activities and Pursuits

    The Pew Internet & American Life Project explores the impact of the Internet on daily life. It catalogues and analyzes how people use the Web to look for information, communicate with others, make transactions and entertain themselves.
  • Public Policy

    The Pew Internet & American Life Project studies and analyzes public-policy issues such as privacy and security, telecommunications law and the “digital divide” among social classes in the United States
  • Technology and Media Use

    New technology and media practices affect people’s Web use as well as their lifestyles. The Pew Internet & American Life Project tracks this changing landscape.
  • Work

    The Internet, including e-mail and instant messaging, influences the workplace and the work/life divide. The Pew Internet & American Life Project examines the ways that the Web has affected the world of work.

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