Internet use is highly correlated with age, education, and household income, the study found. In particular, age corresponds strongly with Internet use: 44% of Americans age 65 and older are offline, compared with 17% of the next-youngest age group (adults 50-64).
A similar proportion (41%) of adults who have not graduated high school are offline, as are 24% of Hispanics and 24% of those in households earning less than $30,000 per year. And 20% of rural residents say they do not use the Internet, significantly more than those living in urban or suburban areas (14%).
Below, additional key findings from the report.
Why They're Offline
Asked the main reason for not using the Internet or email, respondents gave a variety of answers:
- 34% of offline adults said they just aren't interested in going online or don't need to, or that they are "too busy" or think the Internet is a waste of time.
- 32% mentioned usability-related issues, such as finding it too difficult or frustrating to go online, or saying they don't know how or are physically unable.
- 9% mentioned price-related reasons.
- 7% said a lack of access or availability is the main reason they're offline.
Experiences With the Internet
- 14% of offline adults used to use the Internet but stopped for some reason.
- 23% of offline adults live in a household where someone else uses the Internet at home.
- 44% of offline adults have asked a friend or family member to look something up or complete a task on the Internet for them at some point.
- Just 8% of offline adults would like to start using the Internet or email.
- Most offline Americans surveyed (63%) said they would need assistance going online if they did choose to use the Internet in the future.
About the research: The report was based on data from telephone interviews conducted from April 17 to May 19, 2013, among a sample of 2,252 adults age 18 and older.