NEW YORK – The Internet has become so entwined in their lives that many Americans might have trouble coping without it. But a new survey found that some 15 percent of Americans – about 1 in 7 – don’t use the Internet at all. Most of them prefer it that way.
The study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project also found that another 9 percent of U.S. adults only use the Internet when they are not at home. Adults with lower levels of income and education, as well as blacks and Hispanics, are significantly more likely to rely on Internet access outside of their home, in libraries, at work or elsewhere.
Of the people who don’t go online, only 8 percent want to. The rest said they’re not interested.
Nearly everyone who goes online has broadband access, the report found. Only 3 percent of people who use the Internet do so using a dial-up connection.
As in previous years, age, income, education level and race have a lot to do with who is and isn’t online. Forty-four percent of people 65 or older are not online, compared with 2 percent of those ages 18 to 29. Of people who have not graduated from high school, 41 percent don’t go online, compared with 4 percent of those with a college degree.
Nearly a quarter of people with household incomes of less than $30,000 per year are offline, compared with 4 percent of those with $75,000 or more. Gender didn’t seem to make a difference in whether someone went online or not. Eighty-five percent of men use the Internet, along with 84 percent of women.
Here are some reasons people gave for not going online:
• 34 percent think the Internet is not relevant to them – they are not interested, don’t want to use it or don’t need it.
• 13 percent don’t have a computer, 7 percent don’t have Internet access and 6 percent said it’s too expensive.
• Three percent said they are worried about privacy, viruses, spam or hackers.