About 15 percent of U.S. adults ages 18 and older do not use the Internet or e-mail, a study by the Pew (News - Alert) Internet and American Life Project has found.
Of the non-users, about 34 percent reported that the “Internet is just not relevant to them,” meaning they are not interested, do not want to use it, or claim to have no need for it.
Some 32 percent of non-Internet users claim they do not use the Internet because it is not very easy to use. Such non-users say the Internet is difficult or frustrating to use, or they are physically unable to do so.
In other cases, non-users say they are worried about other security-related issues such as spam, spyware, and hackers.
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About 19 percent of non-Internet users cite the expense of owning a computer or paying for an internet connection.
In about 7 percent of cases, non-users said there was a physical lack of availability issue or some other reason they could not get access to the Internet, the Pew Internet and American Life Project says.
Perhaps the most surprising finding is that 44 percent of U.S. residents ages 65 and older do not use the Internet at all. In fact, such older people represent 49 percent of non-Internet users overall.
One might be tempted to suggest there is sampling error, or that prior studies had sampling error, since if you are reading this story, you probably don’t really know anybody who does not use the Internet.
But earlier Pew studies had found in 2012 that Internet use among older users was about 53 percent, so the 2013 findings are consistent.
According to Gallup, just about 17 percent of people 65 or older use the Internet every day.
Studies from the United Kingdom likewise have shown a usage gap, where about 30 percent of people 65 or older report using the Internet. Perhaps 14 percent of U.K. residents have never used the Internet, the UK’s Office for National Statistics reports.
Edited by Alisen Downey