A new report from Pew Research Center circulated yesterday with some surprising statistics.
According to their latest survey, which was conducted in April and May of 2013, around 15% of Americans don't go online - either at home or elsewhere.
The report showed that the non-internet users were concentrated in the working class and the less-educated, but it also showed that 4% of the respondents who were college-educated don't go online either (not even for work) and that around 4.6% of those earning more than $50k a year also don't go online.
That's an interesting statistic, but it's not as surprising as another report I found today. I went looking for data which could put the 15% in to context, and I found that the latest estimates from Nielsen show a much higher penetration of TVs in American households:
The universe of U.S. television homes is growing—and so is the TV audience. According to Nielsen’s 2014 Advance National TV Household Universe Estimate (UE), there are 115.6 million TV homes in the U.S., up 1.2% from the 2012-2013 estimate of 114.2 million. Nielsen estimates that 294 million persons age 2 and older live in these TV homes, an increase of 1.6% from last year.
Something like 98% of Americans have a TV. Even if we assume this estimate is somewhat inaccurate, it still shows that TVs still have a higher penetration that internet.
I find it surprising. The internet can be a useful tool, but a TV is just a time sink. So I was surprised to learn that so many more Americans were wasting time and money on such a useless gadget than spending their time with something useful.
Frankly, I expected the results to go the other way. Why do you think it didn't?
P.S. If you like data then you might want to read the info released with last year's estimates (Mashable).
image by liewcf