As of May 2013, 15% of American adults ages 18 and older do not use the internet or email.
Asked why they do not use the internet:
- 34% of non-internet users think the internet is just not relevant to them, saying they are not interested, do not want to use it, or have no need for it.
- 32% of non-internet users cite reasons tied to their sense that the internet is not very easy to use. These non-users say it is difficult or frustrating to go online, they are physically unable, or they are worried about other issues such as spam, spyware, and hackers. This figure is considerably higher than in earlier surveys.
- 19% of non-internet users cite the expense of owning a computer or paying for an internet connection.
- 7% of non-users cited a physical lack of availability or access to the internet.
Even among the 85% of adults who do go online, experiences connecting to the internet may vary widely. For instance, even though 76% of adults use the internet at home, 9% of adults use the internet but lack home access. These internet users cite many reasons for not having internet connections at home, most often relating to issues of affordability—some 42% mention financial issues such as not having a computer, or having a cheaper option outside the home.
About the Survey
The findings in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from April 17 to May 19, 2013, among a sample of 2,252 adults ages 18 and older. Telephone interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline and cell phone. For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling is plus or minus 2.3 percentage points. More information is available in the Methods
section at the end of this report.