African American Adults Trail Whites in Internet Use, On Par with Mobile Platforms

  • Pew Internet
WASHINGTON, DC - African Americans trail whites by seven percentage points when it comes to overall Internet use (87 percent of whites and 80 percent of blacks are internet users). At the same time, blacks and whites are on more equal footing when it comes to other types of access, especially on mobile platforms. This is according to new research from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, a project of the Pew Research Center. Overall,

Among the findings:

  • 73 percent of African American Internet users—and 96 percent of those ages 18 to 29—use a social networking site of some kind.

  • African Americans have exhibited relatively high levels of Twitter use since Pew began tracking the service as a stand-alone platform.

  • 92 percent of African Americans own a cell phone, and 56 percent own a smartphone.

The findings in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from July 18 to September 30, 2013, among a sample of 6,010 adults ages 18 and older. Findings for African Americans are based on the 664 respondents who identified themselves as black or African American, and not of Hispanic or Latino background. In the interest of readability, throughout this report African Americans are compared only to whites, and not to other racial or ethnic groups. Findings are not based on geographic location because the number of rural African Americans in this survey (n=75) was too small to report.

Demographic Reports on Technology Use

This report on African Americans and technology is the first in a series of demographic snapshots of technology use and adoption among different groups of adults in the United States undertaken by Pew Internet. Based on a survey of 6,010 American adults, including 664 who identify as African American, it offers a detailed look at a number of key subgroups within the black population such as: men vs. women, old vs. young, low income vs. high income, and parents vs. non-parents.


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