Feeds

15% of Americans still holding off from this newfangled interweb thing

The old, the dumb, the poor

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The latest data from the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project has found that there is still a sizable percentage of Americans who really don't get this internet thing, with 15 per cent never going online and another 9 per cent only doing so at work.

US internet use data from Pew

47 million people still without cat videos

Of those online holdouts, over a third said that they felt the internet was "not relevant" to them, and 32 per cent said that using it was either too hard or that they were concerned about the threat of viruses and identity theft. This latter figure has nearly doubled since Pew's 2010 survey. and shows that the rising tide of online crime is a significant deterrent effect to use.

Prices of computers and internet access is also cited as a reason by 19 per cent of the holdouts, with 7 per cent saying the internet was unavailable to them – whether because of their location or due to physical limitations.

Pew's study found that, not surprisingly, it's the older members of the community who are the least likely to go online. In all, 44 per cent of those over 65 declined to become silver surfers, with 17 per cent of the 50-to-64 age group staying free of internet companies' clutches. By contrast, only 2 per cent of 18-to-29 year-olds eschewed going online.

Education and income are also strong indicators for those who steer clear of the internet. Of those surveyed, 43 per cent of internet holdouts had only a basic high school diploma, compared to 4 per cent who'd been to college, and 24 per cent of non-users earned less than $30,000 per year.

Surprisingly, 14 per cent of the internet refuseniks have tried going online and then abandoned it. And while they may not want the internet itself, 44 per cent said they had asked someone to look something up online for them. Nearly a quarter have an internet user in their home, presumably someone who is growing sick and tired of being asked to perform searches for them.

While 15 per cent might sound like a lot (over 47 million people, according to the latest census data) the rate of online luddism is falling steadily – back in 2004 over a third of US citizens were offline.

There will always be a hard core of non-participants (we're not expecting the Amish to go online in large numbers, for example) but Pew's data shows they will be a shrinking minority in the future. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights
Virgin Media: UK fans pay the most for the fewest matches
FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools
Kids need more fiber, says Wheeler, and you'll pay for it
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.