20% of U.S. Population Has Never Sent an Email

Posted on May 19, 2008

Not everyone is using the Internet. About 20% of the U.S. population has never sent an email or looked up information online according to a recent study by Parks Associates.

Age and education were significant factors cited in the study, which was conducted by researcher Parks Associates. Half of those who have never used e-mail are older than 65 and 56 percent had no formal education beyond a high school level, the telephone survey found.

"Nearly one out of three household heads has never used a computer to create a document," John Barrett, director of research at Parks Associates, said in a statement. "These data underscore the significant digital divide between the connected majority and the homes in the unconnected minority that rarely, if ever, use a computer."

Just 7 percent of the 20 million households without Internet access indicated during the survey that they plan to subscribe to an Internet service within the next 12 months. However, the study noted a steady decline in the number of disconnected households when comparing findings with previous years; the 2006 survey found that 31 million households, or 29 percent, of all U.S. households were without Internet access.

20 million households with no web access is signicant. It would be interesting to know how many are going without because they can't afford it and how many are simply uninterested. It would also be interesting to know whether there are still areas in the U.S. where it is simply unavailable.

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