Demographics

The Pew Internet & American Life Project generates knowledge and information about the demographics of Internet users in America. Its researchers study the role played by factors such as age, gender, race, marital status, education and income. Data regarding the demographics of online visitors and activities are collected through public opinion polling, online surveys and other research methods.

Recent topics explored by the project include the demographics of Latino Internet users and non-users; users of broadband Web access; Internet usage statistics in America; the scope of online scams targeting the elderly; and the availability of broadband in rural communities. The knowledge gained through these studies helps journalists, scholars and others learn more about the types of people who are using the Internet, and why.

The Pew Internet & American Life Project is an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a subsidiary of Pew based in Washington, D.C. For more information about its research into Internet users’ demographics, visit the Pew Internet & American Life Project Web site.

Report

  • Teens, Social Media, and Privacy

    May 21, 2013 - While teens share a wide range of information about themselves on social media sites, they also take steps to manage their privacy.

  • 5 Facts About Tumblr

    May 20, 2013 - Yahoo! today confirmed that it’s buying 6-year-old blogging service Tumblr for $1.1 billion in cash. Who uses Tumblr? We consulted the recent report on social-media demographics from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project to find out.

  • Mobile Health Has Found Its Market In Smartphone Owners

    Nov 08, 2012 - A new Pew Research Center report finds over half of smartphone owners gather health information on their phones, compared with 6% of non-smartphone owners.

  • Mobile Health Has Found Its Market In Smartphone Owners

    Nov 08, 2012 - Pew Research reports over half of smartphone owners gather health information on their phones, compared with 6% of non-smartphone owners.

  • How Teens Research In the Digital Age

    Nov 01, 2012 - Teachers participating in a Pew Internet study say the impact of today's digital environment on their students' research habits and skills is mostly positive, but not without drawbacks.

  • Older Adults and Internet Use

    Jun 06, 2012 - As of April, 53% of American adults age 65 and older said they used the internet or email. Though these adults are still less likely than all other age groups to use the internet, this represent the first time that half of seniors are going online. After several years of very little growth among this group, these gains are significant.

  • Twitter Use 2012

    May 31, 2012 - While the overall number of adults with Twitter accounts remains steady, the proportion of online adults who say they use Twitter on a "typical day" has doubled since May 2011 and has quadrupled since late 2010. The rise of smartphones might account for some of the increase because smartphone users are particularly likely to be using Twitter.

  • Facebook: A Profile of Its 'Friends'

    May 16, 2012 - For years, the Pew Internet & American Life Project has been polling people who use social media to explore how they use it and what they get out of it. The results paint a portrait of what kind of people use sites such as Facebook, who they connected and how they manage their privacy.

  • Just-in-Time Information through Mobile Connections

    May 07, 2012 - Nearly 9-in-10 (86%) smartphone owners used their phone in the past month to make real-time queries in their daily lives. Men are more likely than women to use their phones to find information to settle an argument. Parents with kids are more likely to use their phone to decide whether to visit a local business, such as a restaurant.

  • Digital Differences: For Some Groups Disparities in Internet Use Remain

    Apr 13, 2012 - While the number of Americans who go online has increased substantially over the years, about one-in-five adults still do not use the internet. Differences in internet access exist among different demographic groups, especially when it comes to access to high-speed broadband at home. Age (being 65 or older), a lack of a high school education, and having a low household income are the strongest negative predictors for internet use.

  • 72% of Americans Follow Local News Closely

    Apr 12, 2012 - Nearly three quarters of Americans say they follow local news closely most of the time, whether or not something important is happening. These news enthusiasts are more wedded to their local newspapers than others. Yet, younger local news followers differ in some important ways, including less reliance on local papers -- a potential sign of changes to come in the local news environment.

  • The Rise of E-Reading

    Apr 05, 2012 - One-fifth of American adults  report that they have read an e-book in the past year. This number increased following a gift-giving season which saw a spike in ownership rates of both tablet computers and e-book reading devices, such as Kindles and Nooks. The increasing availability of e-content is prompting some to read more than they have in the past and to show a preference for buying books rather than borrowing them.

  • Nearly Half of American Adults Are Smartphone Owners

    Mar 01, 2012 - Nearly half (46%) of American adults now own smartphones compared to 35% last May. The increase means that adult smartphone owners now outnumber those who own a cellphone that is not a smartphone.

  • Millennials Will Benefit and Suffer Due to Hyperconnected Lives

    Feb 29, 2012 - While experts see many young people becoming nimble analysts and decision-makers because of their embrace of the networked world, they also warn that some teens and young adults will lack a deep engagement with people and knowledge by being hyperconnected.

  • The Civic and Community Engagement of Religiously Active Americans

    Dec 23, 2011 - Religiously active Americans are more tied to many civic and other organizations than non-religious Americans. Many report that their use of technology helps them in their group activities.

  • Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites

    Nov 09, 2011 - Social media use has become so pervasive in the lives of American teens that having a presence on a social network site is almost synonymous with being online. Fully 95% of all teens ages 12-17 are now online and 80% of those online teens are users of social media sites. Many log on daily to their social network pages and these have become spaces where much of the social activity of teen life is echoed and amplified—in both good and bad ways.

  • Half of Adult Cell Phone Owners Have Apps on Their Phones

    Nov 02, 2011 - The share of adult cell phone owners who have downloaded an app to their phone nearly doubled in the past two years – rising from 22% in September 2009 to 38% in August 2011 – according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

  • Sixty-Five Percent of Online Adults Use Social Networking Sites

    Aug 26, 2011 - Two-thirds of adult internet users now say they use a social networking site like MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, up from 61% one year ago, and most describe their experiences in positive terms.

  • Seventy-One Percent of Online Adults Now Use Video-Sharing Sites

    Jul 26, 2011 - Rural internet users are now just as likely as users in urban and suburban areas to have used video-sharing sites, and online African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely than internet-using whites to visit video-sharing sites.

  • Internet Phone Calls

    May 31, 2011 - After years of modest activity, online phone calling has taken off as a quarter of American adult internet users (24%) have placed phone calls online. That amounts to 19% of all American adults.

  • Latinos and Digital Technology

    Feb 09, 2011 - According to survey findings from the Pew Hispanic Center, Latinos are less likely than whites to access the internet, have a home broadband connection or own a cell phone.

  • Generations and Gadgets

    Feb 03, 2011 - While many tech devices have become popular across generations, Millennials are by far the most likely group not only to own most gadgets, but also to take advantage of a wider range of functions on those devices.

  • Sixty-Five Percent of Internet Users Have Paid for Online Content

    Dec 30, 2010 - Sixty-five percent of internet users have paid to access or download some kind of digital content. Music and software are the most common kinds of content purchased.    

  • Politics Goes Mobile

    Dec 23, 2010 - More than a quarter of American adults – 26% – used their cell phones to learn about or participate in the 2010 mid-term election campaign.                                                                    

  • Global Publics Embrace Social Networking

    Dec 16, 2010 -  A 22-nation survey released by the Pew Research Center, finds that around the world -- and in countries with varying levels of economic development -- people who use the internet are using it for social networking.

  • Who Tweets?

    Dec 09, 2010 - "Who Tweets?" is the first-ever survey from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project that exclusively examines Twitter users.

  • Use of the Internet in Higher-Income Households

    Nov 24, 2010 - Those in households earning over $75,000 are different from other Americans in their tech ownership and use.

  • Four Percent of Online Americans Use Location-Based Services

    Nov 04, 2010 - Four percent of online adults use a location-based service such as Foursquare or Gowalla that allows them to share their location with friends and to find others who are nearby.

  • Americans and Their Gadgets

    Oct 14, 2010 - In recent years the digital world has expanded far beyond the desktop, and consumers can now choose from an array of devices capable of satisfying their need for “anytime, anywhere” access to news, information, friends and entertainment.

  • Online Product Research

    Sep 29, 2010 - 58% of Americans have researched a product or service online; 24% have posted comments or reviews online about the things they buy.

  • The Rise of Apps Culture

    Sep 14, 2010 - 35% of U.S. adults have cell phones with apps, but only 24% of adults actually use them. Apps users are younger, more educated, and more affluent than other cell phone users. 

  • Cell Phones and American Adults

    Sep 02, 2010 - Adults make just as many calls, but text less often than teens. Americans say their mobile phones make them feel safer and more connected, but are irritated by cell intrusions and rudeness by other users.  

  • Older Adults and Social Media

    Aug 27, 2010 - Social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled—from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010 according to a report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

  • Mobile Access 2010

    Jul 07, 2010 - A new study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project finds that 59% of American adults now go online wirelessly using either a laptop or cell phone, an increase over the 51% of Americans who did so at a similar point in 2009.

  • Reputation Management and Social Media

    May 26, 2010 -  Reputation management has now become a defining feature of online life for many internet users, especially the young. While some internet users are careful to project themselves online in a way that suits specific audiences, other internet users embrace an open approach to sharing information about themselves and do not take steps to restrict what they share.

  • Latinos Online, 2006-2008

    Dec 22, 2009 - The Pew Research Center's Hispanic Project and Internet Project combined forces to write an in-depth look at Internet penetration across racial and ethnic categories in the United States.

  • Twitter and Status Updating, Fall 2009

    Oct 21, 2009 - Some 19% of Internet users now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves, or to see updates about others, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.   

  • The Internet as a Diversion

    Sep 10, 2009 - According to a new report from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, three-quarters of online economic users go online to relax and take their minds off of the recession. Fully 88% of 18-29 year old online economic users look to the internet to relax.    

  • The Mobile Difference

    Mar 25, 2009 - Wireless connectivity has drawn many users more deeply into digital life.

  • Generations Online in 2009

    Jan 28, 2009 - Contrary to the image of Generation Y as the "Net Generation," Internet users in their 20s do not dominate every aspect of online life. Gen X is the most likely to shop, bank and look for health info online. And larger percentages of older generations are doing many more activities online, according to the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project surveys.

  • Adults and Video Games

    Dec 07, 2008 - Over half of American adults play video games, and four out of five young adults play. Among adults, computers are the most popular gaming device, but among young adults gaming consoles are preferred. Virtual worlds only draw a small crowd.

  • Networked Families

    Oct 19, 2008 - This national survey found that households with a married couple and minor children are more likely than other household types—such as single adults, homes with unrelated adults, or couples without children to have cell phones and use the Internet.

  • Seeding The Cloud: What Mobile Access Means for Usage Patterns and Online Content

    Mar 05, 2008 - Groups that have trailed in "traditional" internet access are in a better position to shape cyberspace as wireless devices make it more accessible.

  • Info on the Go: Mobile Access to Data and Information

    Mar 05, 2008 - Sixty-two percent of all Americans are part of a wireless, mobile population that participates in digital activities away from home or work. Not only are young people attuned to this kind of access, African Americans and English-speaking Latinos are more likely than white Americans to use non-voice data applications on their cell phones.  

  • A Portrait of Early Internet Adopters: Why People First Went Online--and Why They Stayed

    Feb 21, 2008 - Technology has advanced and the size and composition of the internet population has changed, but the reasons internet users go online and the things they do while there have remained remarkably constant.  

  • Teens and Social Media

    Dec 19, 2007 - The use of social media gains a greater foothold in teen life as they embrace the conversational nature of interactive online media.

  • Parents, Teens and Technology

    Oct 24, 2007 - A report on Internet use by teens and their parents.

  • China's Online Population Explosion

    Jul 12, 2007 - The growth rate of China's internet user population has been outpacing that of the U.S., and China is projected to overtake the U.S. in the total number of users within a few years, according to a Pew Research Center study.

  • Broadband Adoption 2007

    Jul 06, 2007 - The Pew Internet & American Life Project has released their Broadband Adoption 2007 report, which finds finds that nearly half (47%) of all adult Americans now have a high-speed internet connection at home.

  • 32% of Latino Adults Who Speak Only Spanish Go Online

    Mar 14, 2007 - A report issued by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Pew Internet & American Life Project titled “Latinos Online” which illustrates a gap between Hispanics and non-Hispanics in Internet use.

  • Analysis of Election 2006 Online

    Jan 18, 2007 - Survey finds that during the 2006 campaign, more Americans than ever got their news online.

  • Analysis: More Americans Turn to the Internet for News About Politics

    Sep 20, 2006 - Pew Internet analysis finds a record numbers of Americans turning to the Internet for information on politics and campaigns.

  • Home Broadband Adoption in Rural America

    Feb 27, 2006 - The Pew Internet & American Life Project reports that rural Americans lag the rest of the nation when it comes to use of high-speed Internet connections at home.

  • How Women and Men Use the Internet

    Dec 28, 2005 - According to this Pew Internet study, women are catching up to men in most measures of online life. Men like the Internet for the experiences it offers, while women like it for the human connections it promotes.

  • Digital Divisions: Clear Differences Between Broadband And Other Internet Connections

    Oct 10, 2005 - October 2005 findings by the Pew Internet & American Life project about American adults' Internet access and usage.

  • Broadband Adoption At Home In The United States: Growing But Slowing

    Sep 22, 2005 - Pew Internet & American Life study on the growth of home high-speed Internet adoption.  

  • Teens Forge Forward With The Internet And Other New Technologies

    Jul 29, 2005 - Pew Internet & American Life issues findings on the behavior of teenagers using the Internet.

  • Virtual Tours

    Dec 30, 2004 - A data memo from the Pew Internet & American Life Project on the number of Americans who use the Internet for virtual tours.

  • The Internet as a Unique News Source

    Jul 08, 2004 - A report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project find that millions go online for news and images not covered in the mainstream press.

  • Older Americans and the Internet

    Mar 25, 2004 - A report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project on the Internet use of Americans age 65 or older.

  • Rural Areas and the Internet

    Feb 17, 2004 - A report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project on the Internet's penetration into rural areas.

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