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Who Uses Social Networks: Age, Race, and Income Breakdown

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Nearly three-quarters (72%) of online US adults were using social networking sites as of May 2013, up from 67% in late 2012, according to a recent report from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project.

When Pew first started asking about social networking sites in February 2005, just 8% of online adults said they used social networks.

Social networking site use is prevalent for Internet users from a wide range of demographic groups. Not surprisingly, younger adults are heavily represented, but social networking continues to grow in popularity for older adults as well.

Below, additional key findings from the Pew report, which was authored by Joanna Brenner and Aaron Smith.


Not Just for Kids 

  • Six out of ten Internet users age 50-64 are social networking site users.
  • Adoption rates for those 65 and older have tripled in the last four years (from 13% in the spring of 2009 to 43% in 2013).

Who Uses Twitter

  • The percentage of Internet users who are on Twitter has more than doubled since November 2010; it currently stands at 18%.
  • A broad range of demographic groups uses the service, with especially high adoption rates among Hispanics, college graduates, and those with incomes of $75,000+.

Twitter Use by Age Group

Internet users age 18-29 are the most likely to use Twitter.

About the research: The report was based on data from telephone interviews of 2,252 adults, age 18 and older, conducted from April 17 to May 19, 2013.


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Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategy and content consultant. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. His experience includes working as a strategist and producer of digital content for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, and AOL.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Dexter Tue Sep 3, 2013 via web

    I'd be interested in knowing the breakdowns of the other social networks beyond just Twitter. Interesting article but I kind of expected it to cover all the big networks based off title. Interesting nonetheless.

  • by Gracious Store Wed Sep 11, 2013 via web

    It is no surprise that more and more adults in US are becoming very active online. Many children and grand children help their parents and and parents to get a good handle on computer and on how to naviagate may sites of their interest

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