Tuesday, April 13, 2021

A Decade of Tech Adoption

Pew Research Center has been tracking internet use and technology adoption for more than two decades. Its latest survey was fielded in February 2021. Here's a look at how much things have changed during the past 10 years...

Percent of adults who use, subscribe, or own the technology, 2011 and 2021
   2021   2011
Internet      93%     79%
Smartphone     85     35
Broadband at home     77     62
Desktop/laptop computer     77     75
Tablet computer     53     10

Use of the internet increased from an already high level in 2011 (79 percent) to nearly universal adoption in 2021 (93 percent). Broadband (high speed internet) appears to be headed in the same direction—especially if the American Jobs Plan becomes law, with funds for the expansion of broadband into rural America. 

Only 35 percent of adults owned a smartphone in 2011. Over the past decade, smartphone ownership soared, rising 50 percentage points to the 85 percent of today. 

Tablet ownership increased from just 10 percent in 2011 to the 51 percent majority of adults by 2016. Since then, however, ownership of tablet computers has stabilized. For desktop/laptop computers, little has changed over the entire decade.

The percentage of adults who now own a smartphone ranges from a high of 95 to 96 percent among those under age 50 to a low of 61 percent among people aged 65 or older. Use of the internet is close to 100 percent among adults under age 65, but is a smaller 75 percent among those aged 65-plus. 

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