95% of those in households earning over $75,000 use the internet and cell phones
Those in higher-income households are more likely to use the internet on any given day, own multiple internet-ready devices, do things involving money online, and get news online
Those in higher-income households are different from other Americans in their tech ownership and use.
Analysis of several recent surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Projects find that there are key differences between those who live in households making $75,000 or more relative to those in lower-income households.
Some 95% of Americans who live in households earning $75,000 or more a year use the internet at least occasionally, compared with 70% of those living in households earning less than $75,000.
Even among those who use the internet, the well off are more likely than those with less income to use technology. Of those 95% of higher-income internet users:
- 99% use the internet at home, compared with 93% of the internet users in lower brackets.
- 93% of higher-income home internet users have some type of broadband connection versus 85% of the internet users who live in households earning less than $75,000 per year. That translates into 87% of all those in live in those better-off households having broadband at home.
- 95% of higher-income households own some type of cell phone compared with 83% in households with less income.
The differences among income cohorts apply to other technology as well
The relatively well-to-do are also more likely than those in lesser-income households to own a variety of information and communications gear.3
- 79% of those living in households earning $75,000 or more own desktop computers, compared with 55% of those living in less well-off homes.
- 79% of those living in higher-income households own laptops, compared with 47% of those living in less well-off homes.
- 70% of those living in higher-income households own iPods or other MP3 players, compared with 42% of those living in less well-off homes.
- 54% of those living in higher-income households own game consoles, compared with 41% of those living in less well-off homes.
- 12% of those living in higher-income households own e-book readers such as Kindles, compared with 3% of those living in less well-off homes.
- 9% of those living in higher-income households own tablet computers such as iPads, compared with 3% of those living in less well-off homes.
Background of this analysis
The findings in this report come from three surveys by the Pew Internet Project conducted in late 2009 and 2010. In each of those surveys, respondents were asked if their household income fell into certain ranges. As in Pew Internet surveys in the past, many respondents were willing to provide income ranges for their household. Still, in each survey a notable number of respondents said they did not want to disclose their income: 17% in the survey in December 2009 - January 2010 did not disclose their income1; 16% in the April - May 2010 survey did not disclose their income2; and 14% in the August - September 2010 survey did not do so3.
The analysis in this report covers the responses of those who did disclose their income.