Pew finds that a quarter (26%) of lower-income Americans rely on their smartphones for internet access

Pew recently published their latest post in a series
examining how different demographic groups use technology and access the
internet. Their analysis found that a digital divide persists between lower-
and higher-income Americans, despite growing internet and technology use across
the board.

Survey respondents making less than $30,000 per
year have lower levels of technology adoption than their wealthier counterparts
do. About 3 in 10 (29%) lower-income respondents reported they do not own a
smartphone, while nearly all respondents making above $100,000 per year do.
Similarly, more than 2 in 5 lower-income respondents do not have access to home
broadband services (44%) or a traditional desktop or laptop computer (46%),
while more than 90% of the wealthiest respondents have adopted both of these

Higher-income respondents are also more likely to
own multiple options for online access. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents
making more than $100,000 per year have home access to broadband internet, a
smartphone, a traditional computer, and a tablet. A little less than 1 in 5
(18%) lower-income respondents said the same. A quarter (26%) of lower-income
respondents said that they rely on smartphones for internet access, a number
that has doubled since 2013 (12%). Reliance on smartphones can make online
tasks that are not optimized for smartphones, like doing homework and applying
for jobs, more difficult.

The full report can be found here.

This post is part of our series, “
The LRS Number.”
In this series, we highlight statistics that help tell the story of the 21st-century


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