W.Although most people consider the online world to be an integral part of their daily activities, 7% of the country’s adults do not use it at all. That’s around 17.9 million 255 million people over 18 years old and residing in the United States since July 1, 2019.
A current study by the Pew Research Center found that a number of factors contribute to the number, but the biggest one was age. About a quarter of Americans who are 65 or older say they never go online. That’s roughly 13.5 million seniors who choose to bypass the information superhighway.
Unsurprisingly, the younger the population, the more connected they are. Only 1% of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 say they don’t go online.
However, the gap is closing.
“Over time, the country’s offline population has shrunk, and for some groups that change has been particularly dramatic,” the Pew report said. “For example, in 2000, 86% of adults 65 and over did not go online. today that number has fallen to just a quarter. “
Income is also a factor. About 14% of adults who earn less than $ 30,000 a year avoid going online, possibly due to the high cost of broadband in the US
The average broadband bill in the US is $ 59.99 per month. according to Cable.co.uk. That is significantly higher than in many other countries. For example, in the UK, the average is $ 34.78. Italy costs $ 32.73. And South Korea is only $ 31.15.
However, steps are being taken to make US prices more affordable. President Joe Biden’s $ 2 trillion infrastructure proposal includes $ 100 billion earmarked to bring “affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband” to all Americans. Several providers offer low-cost programs to those eligible for public assistance. (Comcast’s Internet Essentials package offers 50 Mbps for $ 9.95 per month, while Spectrum’s Internet Assist offers 30 Mbps downstream speed for $ 14.99 per month.
The educational level of the people also plays a role. Fourteen percent of people with high school degrees or less don’t get online, compared with just two percent of people with college and university degrees.
Interestingly, there were no significant differences in non-internet use in terms of gender, race and ethnicity, or type of community (rural vs. suburban vs. urban).
Of course, internet access has also grown in importance as a business and education sector in the past year. But even before COVID-19, it grew rapidly. Prior to the pandemic, 64% of students who did not have internet access at home said they often or sometimes left their homework unfinished because they lacked the means to do it.
“Broadband access has an indirect impact on educational performance in combination with other factors,” said Johannes Bauer, director of the James H. and Mary B. Quello Center for Media and Information Policy at Michigan State University. told The Pew Charitable Trusts last December. “Even if we take into account socio-economic and other factors that may play a role, students with no home access, slow home access, or cell-only access had an overall grade about half a letter lower.”
It is worth noting that 7% of the country is offline today, but this is a significant improvement since the beginning of the century. In 2000, 48% of adults in the United States said they didn’t use the Internet. By 2005 it was only 32%, in 2010 it was 24%. Six years ago it was 15%.
The faster that number shrinks, the better it is for the economy. More and more companies are relying on their ecommerce spaces to improve their bottom line – a trend that was going on long before the pandemic.
In 2014 the number of online shoppers worldwide was 1.32 billion people, according to the Oberlo shopping app. Last year it was 2.05 billion – almost a quarter of the world’s population.
Even things like grocery shopping that were traditionally done in person are starting to change. In 2018, 22% of the US population bought groceries online. But back in March of last year when the pandemic started, that number was up shot up to 42%.
The good news for retailers of all types is not only that younger generations are preferring an online lifestyle more than ever, but that boomers do the same in their peak years. The number of adults who forego online access between the ages of 50 and 64 has fallen from 12% to 4% since 2019.
The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.