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21% of Americans Aren't Using the Internet

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 97 comments

How many people do you know who aren't connected?

With phones that can push email, Twitter and Facebook notifications to your home screen, it seems like we're living in a world that’s constantly connected. Between web-connected TVs and consoles, phones, laptops, and PCs, it's hard for most of us to imagine not getting at least some of our news, entertainment and information from the Web. However, a recent study by Pew shows that 21 percent of American adults aren't connected to the internet.

This figure isn't just based on broadband, it includes dial-up users too, and one fifth of Americans just aren't online. Of that 21 percent, 34 percent of users have access (or live with people who have access) to the internet, but either don't think it's relevant to their lives, are uncomfortable with computers, or just plain not interested in the idea. One in ten non-users said they'd be interested in getting online at some point in the future.

Pew's research also revealed that just over 10 percent of those surveyed feel that expanding affordable high-speed internet access to everyone in the country should be a top priority for the federal government.

Pew:

Americans were asked: “Do you think that expanding affordable high-speed internet access to everyone in the country should be a top priority for the federal government, important but a lower priority, not too important, or should it not be done?” The majority chose the last two options:

  • 26% of Americans say that expansion of affordable broadband access should not be attempted by government.
  • 27% said it was “not too important” a priority
  • 30% said it was an important priority.
  • 11% said it should be a top priority.

Pew's survey was conducted via phone (landline and cell phone) in April and May of 2010, and involved 2,252 adults aged 18 and older.

Read more about Pew's 2010 broadband study here.

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Top Comments
  • 28 Hide
    Anonymous , August 12, 2010 10:56 PM
    2252 people? Isn't this sample way too small?
  • 24 Hide
    nforce4max , August 12, 2010 10:54 PM
    No wonder why they don't know what is going on, they are glued to the boob tube (TV aka the Golden Calf) watching the talking heads ramble about meaningless garbage on Fox or CNN. If not network news its MTV and American Idol.


  • 21 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , August 12, 2010 11:29 PM
    Who cares they are obviously not reading this LOL
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    nforce4max , August 12, 2010 10:54 PM
    No wonder why they don't know what is going on, they are glued to the boob tube (TV aka the Golden Calf) watching the talking heads ramble about meaningless garbage on Fox or CNN. If not network news its MTV and American Idol.


  • 28 Hide
    Anonymous , August 12, 2010 10:56 PM
    2252 people? Isn't this sample way too small?
  • 0 Hide
    drutort , August 12, 2010 10:57 PM
    thats a very small sample to draw a conclusion for whole America LOL really? only 2.2k adults? and its done over phone and cell phone... ok why not like public survey or other none tech surveying... how about asking others who have Internet if they have adults who never connect on the net.. that might work for an online study lol though not very accurate
  • 12 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , August 12, 2010 11:00 PM
    21% of Americans aren't using the Internet. Probably another 30%-40% probably shouldn't be because they're kinda dumb and wouldn't know how to use it resourcefully or they just spend all their time on Facebook. But back to those 21%, we're probably talking for the most part about senior citizens that didn't grow up with computers. The rest of them are probably too dumb to add 1 + 1, let alone use a computer.
  • -6 Hide
    blurr91 , August 12, 2010 11:02 PM
    Expanding high speed internet service is a priority for the federal government? Are they stupid?
  • 8 Hide
    Minus_i7 , August 12, 2010 11:07 PM
    21% of Americans are also over age 55, according to the 2000 census.

    Hm...
  • 15 Hide
    Camikazi , August 12, 2010 11:11 PM
    All I am hearing when reading this is "pew, pew, pew" lasers going off...
  • -4 Hide
    pocketdrummer , August 12, 2010 11:12 PM
    Those are the one's being throttled because their ISP sucks.

    On a more serious note, read up on Google's deal with Verizon...
  • -2 Hide
    zachary k , August 12, 2010 11:14 PM
    well, it would be hard to get a good sample size, people into the internet screen their calls or don't even have landlines, and they can't do it on the internet, because that would be biased.
  • 17 Hide
    maestintaolius , August 12, 2010 11:18 PM
    JOSHSKORN21% of Americans aren't using the Internet. Probably another 30%-40% probably shouldn't be because they're kinda dumb and wouldn't know how to use it resourcefully or they just spend all their time on Facebook. But back to those 21%, we're probably talking for the most part about senior citizens that didn't grow up with computers. The rest of them are probably too dumb to add 1 + 1, let alone use a computer.

    Is it lonely up there on your pedestal?
  • 16 Hide
    DokkRokken , August 12, 2010 11:21 PM
    Twenty-one percent of the population may actually be smarter than we think.
  • 3 Hide
    hunter315 , August 12, 2010 11:23 PM
    i want to see it split into smaller demographics, most of that 21% was probably from the 65 and older bracket
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , August 12, 2010 11:28 PM
    Man, I would love to see some age analysis on those non-users.
  • 21 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , August 12, 2010 11:29 PM
    Who cares they are obviously not reading this LOL
  • -8 Hide
    Simple11 , August 12, 2010 11:31 PM
    Buddy of mine doesn't have Internet cause he can't afford. Should be a city government issue to provide free wifi to the city
  • 10 Hide
    nforce4max , August 12, 2010 11:34 PM
    simple11Buddy of mine doesn't have Internet cause he can't afford. Should be a city government issue to provide free wifi to the city


    As they say the only free cheese is in the mousetrap.
  • 5 Hide
    Ares_ , August 12, 2010 11:47 PM
    drutortthats a very small sample to draw a conclusion for whole America LOL really? only 2.2k adults? and its done over phone and cell phone... ok why not like public survey or other none tech surveying... how about asking others who have Internet if they have adults who never connect on the net.. that might work for an online study lol though not very accurate


    Actually a survey size of 2,200 people allows for a very manageable survey with a high certainty. For example, the Gallup Polls that correctly predicted the 2008 election with a sample size of 3,050 had only 2.1% error. The reason why the survey was conducted over cellphones and phones is that pseudorandomness is easily attained. A public survey has regional bias and asking internet users if they know people who do not use the internet has a socioeconomic bias. While using mail would have been suitable, it has a much higher overhead with not noticeable benefits over a phone survey. From the information given in this article, the survey looks as if it could be very accurate; however, I do not know any other details about it.
  • 6 Hide
    tpho2500 , August 12, 2010 11:47 PM
    The 21% of americans view technology as witchcraft and voodoo.
  • 1 Hide
    chickenhoagie , August 12, 2010 11:47 PM
    as time goes on, this percentage will drop dramatically..its all about the age of the user. people who grow up in the internet world, will endorse it. but you can never get everyone to have internet. for some, its just too much against their policies and views.

    but how i feel about this is, YES WE NEED HIGH-SPEED INTERNET. nope, not talking about super fast cable. I'm talking about what the chinese have. why can't we have what they have? its ridiculous. its America. China is communist and they still have better internet than us.
  • 4 Hide
    blurr91 , August 12, 2010 11:49 PM
    simple11Buddy of mine doesn't have Internet cause he can't afford. Should be a city government issue to provide free wifi to the city


    Why don't you pay for him? He's your buddy, right?
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