15 Percent of American Adults Not Using the Internet or Email

A new report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, based on interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, indicates that 15 percent of American adults ages 18 and older say they are not using the Internet or email. Survey participants cite issues related to relevance, problems with ease-of-use, security, expense and availability as primary reasons. Additionally, another 9 percent of U.S. adults note that they use the Internet, but not while they are at home.

The report is based on telephone interviews with 2,252 adults conducted from April-May 2013.

According to the Pew report:

  • 34 percent of non-Internet users think the Internet is just not relevant to them, saying they are not interested, do not want to use it, or have no need for it.
  • 32 percent of non-Internet users cite reasons tied to their sense that the Internet is not very easy to use. These non-users say it is difficult or frustrating to go online, they are physically unable, or they are worried about other issues such as spam, spyware, and hackers. This figure is considerably higher than in earlier surveys.
  • 19 percent of non-Internet users cite the expense of owning a computer or paying for an Internet connection.
  • 7 percent of non-users cited a physical lack of availability or access to the Internet.

“Even among the 85 percent of adults who do go online, experiences connecting to the Internet may vary widely,” reports Pew. “For instance, even though 76 percent of adults use the Internet at home, 9 percent of adults use the Internet but lack home access. These Internet users cite many reasons for not having Internet connections at home, most often relating to issues of affordability — some 42 percent mention financial issues such as not having a computer, or having a cheaper option outside the home.”

Click here to access the full report.

Editor’s note: Thanks to ETC staffer Phil Lelyveld for forwarding this news.