Mobile Internet Closing the Digital Divide

A new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project shows that mobile internet is closing the digital divide between whites and minority Americans.

African Americans are the most active users of the mobile internet – and their use of it is also growing the fastest. This means the digital divide between African Americans and white Americans diminishes when mobile use is taken into account.

  • By a 59% to 45% margin, white Americans are more likely to go online using a computer on a typical day than African Americans.
  • When mobile devices are included in the mix, the gap is cut in half; 61% of whites go online on the average day when mobile access is included while 54% of African Americans do.
  • Looking across a range of digital activities – some done online typically using a computer and others being non-voice data activities on a mobile device – African American and white Americans, on average, do the same number of activities.

The rising number of relatively affordable internet-capable cell phones, cheap netbook computers, and falling laptop prices seem to have boosted the adoption rate of wireless internet. The trending indicates that the saturation of internet-capable mobile devices will continue to rise dramatically in the next few years.

The report also provides data on wireless usage by the 18-29 demographic:

PewMobileData

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The 18-29 demographic is still unsurprisingly ahead of the curve when it comes to mobile internet adoption.

The 48-page report has a ton of information in it and is definitely worth checking out.