NEW YORK — The Internet has become so entwined in their lives that many Americans might have trouble coping without it. But a new survey found that some 15 percent of Americans — about 1 in 7 — don’t use the Internet at all.
Off the web
Some reasons people gave for not going online:
34% think the Internet isn’t relevant to them: they aren’t interested, don’t want to use it or don’t need it.
13% don’t have a computer, 7% don’t have Internet access, and 6% think it’s too costly.
3% said they’re worried about privacy, viruses, spam or hackers.
4% said it’s a waste of time.
Nearly a third cited usability. This includes people who say they are too old or physically unable to get online because they have poor eyesight or are disabled, along with people who find it too difficult to use. Those who worry about privacy and such are also in this category.
The survey of 2,252 U.S. adults was conducted from April 17-May 19 on landline and mobile phones. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.
Most of them prefer it that way.
The study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project also found that another 9 percent of U.S. adults only use the Internet when they are not at home. Adults with lower levels of income and education, as well as blacks and Hispanics, are significantly more likely to rely on Internet access outside of their home, in libraries, at work or elsewhere.
Of the people who don’t go online, only 8 percent want to. The rest said they are not interested.
Nearly everyone who goes online has broadband access, the report found. Only 3 percent of people who use the Internet do so using a dial-up connection.
Internet use has increased steadily since Pew began doing the survey. In 1995, only 14 percent of Americans said they went online. By 2000, half were online and by 2007, three-quarters.
As in previous years, age, income, education level and race have a lot to do with who is and isn’t online. Forty-four percent of people 65 or older are not online, compared with 2 percent of those aged 18 to 29. Of people who have not graduated from high school, 41 percent don’t go online, compared with 4 percent of those with a college degree.
Nearly a quarter of people with household incomes of less than $30,000 per year are offline, compared with 4 percent of those with $75,000 or more. Gender didn’t seem to make a difference in whether someone went online or not. Eighty-five percent of men use the Internet, along with 84 percent of women.