The 'greatest generation' still MIA when it comes to Internet

While 85 percent of US adults have regular access to the Web, 15 percent of people still don't go online.

Pew Internet and American Life Project

For some, it must be hard to imagine a world without the Internet. But, 15 percent of US adults are living without the World Wide Web today.

A new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project details who these non-Internet users are. Not surprisingly, the majority of people who don't go online are elderly adults.

Pew Internet and American Life Project
Forty-four percent of people 65 and older are non-Internet users; and 62 percent of the so-called G.I. generation, or the "greatest generation," age 77 and older, don't use the Web.

For comparison, only 2 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 are offline. These younger non-Internet users typically don't have the income to buy a computer and pay for monthly broadband access.

While some non-Internet users say they would like to go online, many say they don't want access to the Web. Thirty-four percent of non-Internet users think the Web isn't relevant to them, 32 percent say it's too difficult to use, 19 percent say it's too expensive, and 7 percent simply don't have physical access to the Internet.

Within the 85 percent of US adults that do go online, there are still 9 percent that don't have home access. The main reason for this is affordability. Pew speculates that people without home access will uses computers at friends' houses, work, community centers, and libraries.

Pew got the data for this survey from telephone interviews with 2,252 adults between April 17 and May 19 of this year.

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About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.

 

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