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The demographics of mobile internet usage

July 18th, 2012 by Talya

A recent study by the Pew Research Center shows that over half of US adults are on the internet via mobile phones at least occasionally. The study shows steady growth of mobile internet usage since 2009, detailing the number of smartphone owners as well as the number of those who are online via their mobiles.

Another interesting part of the study reveals the demographics of mobile internet users, showing who is actually accessing the internet from their phones. First, internet usage is highest among groups of people who own smartphones, which makes sense, as internet accessibility is very simple on smartphones.

According to the research, the fastest growing group of mobile internet users are those aged 25-34, 80% of whom go online with their mobile phones. The second highest number of mobile internet users are those in the age group just behind the first (18-24), with three quarters of that demographic counting as mobile internet users. Of all age groups, the one to use mobile internet the least amount of time is the older population, with adults 65+ going online from their mobiles only 15% of the time.

Other factors determined by the study show differences in online behavior based on ethnicity, location, and income. Among ethnic groups in the US, African American and Latino populations access the internet more often via mobile phones than caucasians. And although rural mobile internet users have doubled since the research began in 2009, there are still significantly more urban and suburban dwellers going online on their mobile phones. People with higher incomes and education levels also appear to be more likely to take advantage of the mobile web.

More in-depth details of the study can be accessed from the Pew Internet website.