1 In 7 American Adults Don't Go Online

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/226330460/226375789" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
  • Transcript

Fifteen percent of Americans don't use the Internet, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center. Most of these "offline adults" are 65 years old or older, many live in rural areas and have incomes lower than $30,000 a year.


The Internet dominates many of our lives - Google searching, restaurant reservations, streaming baseball games - lots of baseball games. But the Internet is not for everyone. Fifteen percent of Americans do not use the Internet, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center.

NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports on some of the reasons why.

MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Researchers are calling them offline adults - that's one in seven Americans, who don't use the Internet at all. Most of them are 65 years old or older, many live in rural areas and have incomes lower than $30,000 a year, according to Pew Research associate Kathy Zickuhr.

KATHY ZICKUHR: One of the big reasons is that they just don't feel the Internet is relevant to them, they don't think it would be useful to them. Twenty-one percent say they're just not interested, about eight percent say they're just too old to learn how to use the Internet, how to use computers; and about, yeah, about four percent, say they think it's just a waste of time.

BARCO: Pew's Internet and American Life Project surveyed more than 2,200 adults by landline and cell phones. They gave other reasons for not going online - computers are too expensive, too difficult to use, or they're worried about things like privacy, viruses, spam or hackers. Twenty-three percent of the offliners live in a household where someone else uses the Internet.

ZICKUHR: Just about 14 percent said they used to use the Internet, but no longer do.

BARCO: Zickhur says of those who do go online, one in 10 people don't have a computers at home, but access the Web through their smartphones.

According to the study, nearly everyone who goes online has broadband access. Only three percent are using a dial-up connection.


BARCO: Ah, the old dial-up.

Mandalit del Barco, NPR News.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.