15 percent of American adults don't use the internet. Who are they?
The internet now plays such a large role in daily life that it's difficult to imagine many people getting by without it.
The internet now plays such a large role in daily life that it's difficult to imagine many people getting by without it. This is especially true in advanced economies where banking, shopping, communicating, and viewing culture and entertainment are all facilitated with a connection to the Web.
Yet 15 percent of Americans still do not use the internet, according to a poll from the Pew Research Center. That's the same level as three years ago despite government and community efforts encouraging people to get online.
Perhaps it's more surprising, however, how much internet use has grown in American in the last 15 years. In the year 2000, says Pew, an astounding 48 percent of Americans still were not using the internet. Today, rates of non-internet use have fallen by one-half and two-thirds among the elderly and those without a high school diploma, respectively.
The increase in Internet use is due in large part to the proliferation of smartphones, which have become the primary means for many people in disadvantaged populations to go online. But that access isn't sufficient and limits the amount a single user can achieve online.
Yet the elderly and the poor, as well as people living in rural areas, are the least likely to be using the internet today.
That a digital divide exists along lines of age, income, and education is real cause for concern precisely because internet access has become so commonplace and is so easily taken for granted. Those without easy internet access risk being forgotten as new technology charges forward that the rest of the population is eager to adopt.
The extent to which people cannot benefit from the services the internet provides is certainly an argument in favor of the FCC's recent decision to legally treat online connectivity as a public utility. No word yet, however, on when it will protect your Internet bill from getting shut off.
Stock photo © rudisill
- The meaning of the word 'confidence' seems obvious. But it's not the same as self-esteem.
- Confidence isn't just a feeling on your inside. It comes from taking action in the world.
- Join Big Think Edge today and learn how to achieve more confidence when and where it really matters.
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The research raises many ethical questions and puts to the test our current understanding of death.
What's dead may never die, it seems
An ethical gray matter
The dilemma is unprecedented.
Setting new boundaries
Some back story
A Dunbar Correlation
Professor Dunbar's response:
Friendship, kinship and limitations
Gray matter matters
There is an eclectic list of reasons why compassion may collapse, irrespective of sheer numbers:
In the end
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.