The Digital Divide Persists: 1 in 5 Americans not online

The Pew Research Center’s new report on “Civic Engagement in the Digital Age” is chock full of fascinating information, which I wrote about in this story.

But while 60 percent of American adults use social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and 81 percent of Americans are now online, it’s important to note that roughly 20 percent, or 1 in 5 Americans, are still NOT online. That’s more than I would have thought, given the preponderance of smart phones and other digital devices that are ubiquitous here in the Bay Area.

Who are they? I wondered. Thankfully, Pew has a treasure trove of information about this as well.

The class differences are stark. Among households earning $75,000 a year and more, 98 percent are online. Among households earning less than $30,000 a year, just 67 percent. Whites are online more than blacks and Hispanics; the college educated are online much, much more than those with only a high school diploma. Age is also a factor: 94 percent of 18 to 29 year olds are online, while just 54 percent of those age 65 and older are.




Dana Hull Dana Hull (252 Posts)

Dana Hull covers clean technology and energy policy for the San Jose Mercury News. She often writes about electric vehicles, the smart grid, the solar industry and California energy policy, from RPS goals to Gov. Jerry Brown's big dreams for distributed generation.