Internet Usage by Age, Gender, Race and More

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People interested in social media marketing often ask me how age impacts Internet usage, and there’s clear drop off in usage as people age. Now, new data from Pew Internet & American Life Project and eMarketer shows this drop off clearly. Among the interesting things is how much Generation X and Generation Y use the Internet, likely because both generations grew up with it. The data holds on fairly well until you hit age 71, when Internet usage drops significantly.
Internet usage by age
Internet usage by age is clear. But Internet usage by gender is a little less clear, with men (78%) slightly outpacing women (75%). Internet usage by ethnicity shows that whites (78%) are pretty similar to Latinos (75%), with both exceeding usage among African-Americans (68%). Not surprisingly, Internet usage increases with education and income. All the other data I’ve seen shows that numbers across the board continue to climb, and even if you’re targeting older Americans, there are sites such as Eons and Third Age that do a great job targeting older people for social media marketing.

6 Comments

Laura says:

July 2, 2009 at 2:30 am

While the percent of male to female users may bend towards men, you need to look at the absolute figures. Since the female population is greater than the male population, the absolute amount of female internet users is actually greater than male users by a margin of 9%, plus or minus 3% error margin.

Jim Tobin says:

July 2, 2009 at 12:59 pm

I guess that would be correct Laura. Good point. If the question was what % of Internet users are male versus female (i.e., 52% to 48%) than that would not be the case. But this asks the % of the population by gender using the Internet, so total population of each group is important. Thanks for that insight.

Anita says:

July 9, 2009 at 6:18 pm

Do you have statististics of internet use sorted by gender then by age?

Oliver Cruz says:

August 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Hello. Do you know the split by gender on people ages 62+ ?

Joshua says:

September 3, 2011 at 9:09 pm

I’m not surprised by these numbers. The more important ones in this graph have already been stereotyped by people in general, and as things would have it, it seems they were right in doing so. Even the similarities in gender don’t surprise me, even though I am a fan of the long-standing joke “There are no women on the internet…” Of course, I understood this wasn’t true, and I can see why all these numbers are where they are for each category. It’s nice to see this data being collected. Furthermore, I would like to know if all of these differences are statistically significant. The 78% for women and 75% for men, for example, is pretty close. I notice a large sample size – 2796 people! I’m not really familiar with ANOVA, but do you believe it would be possible and appropriate to apply it here? I would like to see an example of ANOVA used on real data and get some idea for how it works. If you do provide some followup, just let us know!

Joshua says:

September 3, 2011 at 9:09 pm

I’m not surprised by these numbers. The more important ones in this graph have already been stereotyped by people in general, and as things would have it, it seems they were right in doing so. Even the similarities in gender don’t surprise me, even though I am a fan of the long-standing joke “There are no women on the internet…” Of course, I understood this wasn’t true, and I can see why all these numbers are where they are for each category. It’s nice to see this data being collected. Furthermore, I would like to know if all of these differences are statistically significant. The 78% for women and 75% for men, for example, is pretty close. I notice a large sample size – 2796 people! I’m not really familiar with ANOVA, but do you believe it would be possible and appropriate to apply it here? I would like to see an example of ANOVA used on real data and get some idea for how it works. If you do provide some followup, just let us know!

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